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FCTA pledges support to artists consortium for UNESCO Creativity City Network

July, 2021 | By Shaka Sunday and Umoru Blessing | ||

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has pledged its support and commitment to Artists Consortium for the Development of Abuja (ACONDA) towards the creation of United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Creative City Network in the Federal Capital Territory.

The Acting Secretary, Social Development Secretariat, Dr Kevin Ike while receiving members of the group during a courtesy visit to his office, said "The FCT Administration is fully prepared and willing to support and partner with the group in achieving their set goals and objectives". He lauded the initiative saying that arts and creativity were income generating alternatives to the country's GDP growth.

He averred that the FCTA in its masterplan already had an existing UNESCO layout which the group could take advantage of and further the cause of Creative City Network. Dr. Ike then advised the group to itemize their activities, what they want to do, how they intend to achieve it and where they want the FCT Administration to come in. Speaking earlier the leader of ACONDA, Mr. Chidi Ukwu, said a number of Artists in Abuja came together in 2019 to make an application to UNESCO for the UNESCO City Network to be created in Abuja.

According to him the UNESCO City Network is a group of cities around the world that are designated for their readiness to use creativity and art to develop society. He said "the creation of such a city in the FCT will enable the use of arts and creativity to support people living in the city and it will enable tourists and residents of the City to enjoy the beauty of nature and art; and sooner than later, Abuja will become a recognized City for that.

"We have chosen literature as the designation we would like to apply for, and UNESCO has accepted our expression of interest and they are expecting our full application to come in at the end of the month of June." "Once we get our approval from UNESCO, we will take into consideration the realities in Abuja, what people are going through and how the art community can help to improve the lives of people". Mr. Ukwu however listed land, office accommodation in the Secretariat in the interim as well as financial assistance as areas of support needed from the FCTA. He noted that the gesture will enable UNESCO to know that they are being supported by the government of Nigeria.

He stated that as time progresses, the Creativity City will be extended to other states and it will help to increase tourism potentials in the country and promote the culture of Nigeria to other countries. In response to their request, Dr Kevin promised to provide an office space in the Social Development Secretariat for the team to enable them carry out their activities without any hitch.

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