The British Council says it will soon commence training and capacity building for 50 indigenes of Cross River State in the arts, culture and tourism sectors as well as support the trainees in the development of indigenous cultural products for a ready market.
Ojoma Ochai, Director of Arts at the Council, made this disclosure when she paid a courtesy call on the Chairman, Cross River State House of Assembly Committee on Arts, Culture and Tourism, Hilary Bisong, in his office.
Ochai, accompanied by Ndubuisi Kanu, Partnership Manager, Arts, explained further that the Council’s intervention in these sectors became necessary after considering the enormous potentials in Cross River State, which she also said has been chosen as a focal state for this intervention. Those selected for the training will be exposed to critical sub-sectors like programme design, fund-raising, as well as focus on fixing the supply of products from the Arts, Culture and Tourism.
She was of the opinion that the state cannot continue to rely on driving in tourists’ traffic only through the Calabar Carnival, when diverse local activities in the sector should guarantee all year round traffic and a better standard of living for the people. The Council she said will execute her vision for the sector in the state and drive the processes that will see Cross River State draw appreciable benefits from the sector.
Responding, Hilary Bisong, thanked the British Council delegation for the visit and particularly for working at “growing the cultural economy of Cross River State”. He promised to inform the House of the visit and further that the Cross River State House of Assembly will be willing to give legislative backing to the work of the British Council. He however cautioned that the selection process must be thoroughly done so that those who benefit from the training and mentoring will plough back knowledge gained for the good of Cross River.
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