By Rotimi Ijikanmi
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has appealed to African leaders to invest more in creative industry for job and wealth creation.
The minister made the appeal in a remark at the closing of the sixth edition of the Edinburgh International Cultural Summit in Edinburgh, Scotland.
A text of the minister’s remarks was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja by Mr Segun Adeyemi, the Special Assistant to the President (Media), attached to the Office of Minister of Information and Culture.
“African ministers should come together and look at the creative industry with a view to working a synergy and persuading various governments to invest more in the sector.
“We should let them understand that, today, the creative industry is a big economy,” Mohammed was quoted as saying.
He added that the creative industry is a low hanging fruits in addressing the challenges of unemployment and wealth creation bedeviling the continent.
Mohammed contended that least attention had been given to the creative industry by many African states.
He said most African countries have Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) as their education policy or curriculum choices with implication on workforce development.
“What we have learnt today is that, in as much as we should put emphasis on STEM, it is equally important to priotise the creative industry.
“Science and Technology are tools while content is king,” Mohammed was quoted as saying.
According to the minister, Nigeria, having realised the flaw, adjusted to embracing the creative industry through its policies and programmes.
He gave the instance of the commitment of 100 million U.S. dollars to the renovation of the National Theatre in Lagos and construction of four hubs for films, fashion, music and technology.
The minister said the hubs would provide the missing but needed infrastructure in the creative industry.
He said the Federal Executive Council (FEC) recently set aside, part of the 170 million U.S dollars loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB) for the development of the nation’s creative industry.
Mohammed also cited the example of the government’s commitment to the completion of the Digital Switch Over project and the repatriation of the country’s stolen artefacts. (NAN)
Edited by Julius Toba-Jegede