Leading tourism media and promotion company, and organisers of AKWAABA African Travel Market, among many others have announced partnership agreements with key organisations and companies towards the successful hosting of the 7th edition of the Abuja Jabamah, the foremost domestic tourism event in Nigeria.

The tourism event which is set to take place on the 18th of November 2019 at the Exhibition Hall of the International Conference Centre (ICC) Abuja, has got the support of the National Council for Arts & Culture (NCAC), National Institute for Hospitality & Tourism (NIHOTOUR), Cabo Verde Airlines, and Ethiopian Airlines who have agreed to partner with the organisers, according to report.

Abuja Jabamah 2019, a one-day event will feature: Familiarisation Trip, Sampling of Northern Cuisine With Chef Fatima, and a B2B Session, while the Induction the Tourism 100 Club (Class of 2019) will rounds up the day.

Meanwhile, the organisers have finalised the complete list of inductees for the Tourism 100 Club (Class of 2019). While imploring those who didn’t make the cut this year to look forward to next year, Mr. Ikechi Uko, the organiser pointed out that the accent this year has been on the Emerging Forces in the Tourism Industry in Nigeria.

“We are only trying to build a database for Tourism in Nigeria. We try and recognise those who have strived in this most difficult environment. Tourism is tough in Nigeria and the few players recognised are trying to uplift the Nation the best way they can.” He added.

Tourism 100 Club

  • Lola Adefope
  • Olugbenga Omotayo Sunday
  • Odion Chigbufue
  • Oguntoye Taiwo Oye
  • Oguntoye Kehinde Oladele
  • Anago Osho
  • Omotosho Hakeem Olamilekan
  • Bolaji Seun
  • Debbie Egwuogu
  • Michael Balogun
  • Jennifer Awoh
  • Adun Okupe
  • Justina Ovat
  • Geraldine Itoe
  • Nneka (Nne Tomato Jos) Unachukwu-Okaro
  • Lydia Akpadiaha
  • Johnpaul Ezeani
  • Mofe Runsewe
  • Aminat Akanbi
  • Funmi Oyatogun
  • Diala Chibuikem
  • Bukola Olowude
  • Oludayo Taiwo Gideon
  • Olusola Segbenu
  • Patricia Ozioma
  • Victoria Onyemuwa
  • Derinsola Shotunde Taiyeloolou (Deerin Èlèran)
  • Ubong Ekpe Okon
  • Rita Obidike (SKAL President)
  • Samson Aturu (HATMAN)
  • Precious Okonji (FTAN)
  • Ime Udo (NATOP)
  • Hassan Abdulmalik (NANTA)
  • Shalom Asuquo (Travelab)
  • Patrick Chidi (Joliewaka)
  • Peace Iyare (PeacefulSky)
  • Capt. Oudah Kenneth Anate (Stay Up Aviation School)
  • Capt. Emmanuel (Exodus Academy)
  • Piriye Kiyaramo (Travel Club)
  • Erhahon Uhnamure (Brisks)
  • Ib Uloma Kemabonta (Retz)
  • Aniedi Udofia (EDC)
  • Ifeoma Aneke (Allure)
  • Jibola Oluseye
  • Wole Ayorinde (Travel Beta)
  • Balqees Olubunmi Olaniyi
  • Ajibola Ogunkeye (Ufitfly Makanjuola Ibrahim Sholar (Youth Tourism)
  • Andrew Okungbowa
  • Justina Okpanku
  • Hope Obeten
  • Niyi David
  • Hannah Oni
  • Taiye Baiyerohi Olayemi
  • Dozie Uzo
  • Fisayo Olayinka-Bello
  • Chinyere Nwanma Ogidi
  • Ayo Shadare Shaddie Bobo (Lagos Jazz festival)
  • Abom Ephraim Okon
  • Chinedu Okeke (Oriteme Banigo Gidifest)
  • Ozo Chinedu Idezuna Ezemuo
  • Dr. Iyam Ugot (Carnival Calabar Band Leader)
  • Friday Nwosu (Reporter, ATQ News)
  • Chigozie Chukwuemeka (Project Manager, Jedidah Promotions Ltd)
  • Gbabo Laura Dein Gbabo (Biz Dev Manager, Akwaaba Travel Market)
  • Paul Kosarachi Ukachukwu (Akwaaba African Youth in Tourism Conference)
  • Sunday Onen (Image Developer/Web Admin, ATQ News)
  • Tolulope Ogundipe (CEO, Tulpan Travels and Tours)
  • Hon. Adiele Ekene (Organiser, Ukwa Carnival, Abia)
  • Alhaji Ibrahim Goni (Conservator General, National Park Service)
  • Jovita Inyang (Founder, Jevinik)
  • Abigail Adesina Olagbaye
  • Glory Okon (Splendour TV)
  • Onuaha Maryann Nkiruka (CEO, Maria Bella Travels)
  • Sunmonu Dauud Gbenga (Complete Culinary & Hospitality Academy)
  • Orman Esin (Commissioner for Tourism, Akwa Ibom)
  • Olaide Mesewaku Babatunde (Lagos State Perm. Sec)
  • Oba Adeyemi Obalenlege (Olota of Ota)
  • Alhaji Kabir M. Momoh (Ag. DG, NIHOTOUR)
  • Mrs. Shuli Adebolu (Commissioner for Tourism, Lagos State)
  • Ismaila Olurisimi Ayodeji (Commissioner for Tourism, Ondo State)
  • Hon. Muyiwa Olumilua (Commissioner for Tourism, Ekiti State)
  • Hon. Muyiwa Oladapo (Commissioner for Tourism, Ogun State)
  • Mohammed S. Arewa (Commissioner for Tourism, Sokoto State)
  • Osazee Osemwengie-Ero (Commissioner for Tourism, Edo State)
  • Mrs. Halima Sanni (Director: Domestic Tourism, Fed. Min. of Information & Culture)
  • Chiamaka Ifediora (CEO Merging Borders)

The 15th AKWAABA African Travel Market kicked off to a bright start on Sunday Sept 22, 2019 as hundreds of people turned out at the Convention Centre of Eko Hotels & Suites, Victoria Island to witness the expo.

The venue was packed as the various exhibition stands received a throng of Nigerians and other nationals, among whom many took the chance to sample the 21 different Jollof Rice by paying a token of N1,000.

It was Uganda Day and they made the most of it, shining brightly as they took the time to educate the crowd about the beauty and tourism attractions of the country affectionately referred to as the “Pearl of Africa,” with emphasis on the “Ugandan Martyrs.” The Ugandan delegation was led by the State Minister of Tourism, Hon Kiwanda Godfrey Ssuubi with the Ugandan Ambassador to Nigeria also in attendance.

The Uganda delegation crowned their presentation by giving out gifts to a host of selected deserving individuals.

Already present and exhibiting at this year’s event are: Dubai Tourism, Ghana, The Gambia, Asky & Ethiopian Airlines, Africa World Airlines (AWA), Caribbean Tourism Organisation, National Council for Arts & Culture, Lagos State, Arik Air and many more. The expo continues on Monday with Dubai Tourism hosting its “A Glimpse of Dubai” in the morning. Other activities for the day include Gambia Day, African Diaspora Tourism Conference, and Rum Time with the Caribbean. Exhibitions also continues through the day.

…more updates and images of AKWAABA 2019 coming…

As part of plans for Edo State to successfully host the 2019 edition of the National Festival for Arts and Culture (NAFEST), the Ministry of Arts Culture, Tourism and Diaspora Affairs plays hosts to the 35 commissioners for Culture and State Directors of Arts across the Federation.

The opening ceremony which was held at the Edo Heritage Hotel was attended by dignitaries from the political circle and Stakeholders from all parts of the Country.

His Excellency, Governor Godwin Obaseki who was ably represented by the Honourable Commissioner for Arts, Culture, Tourism and Diaspora Affairs in his speech welcomed the commissioners and directors while stating that the state was fully ready to host the National Festival. He noted that his administration is fully determined to developed the tourism sector of the state hence the need to accepting the hosting right for the Festival.

While wishing the participants a successful deliberation, His Excellency Unveiled the Official NAFEST EDO 2019 Logo and declared the session Opened.

The Edo state Cultural Troupe were on ground to thrill the audience.

The Director General, National Council for Arts and Culture in his remark stated that the session was necessary in developing the festival template and operational modules. He assured the Stakeholders that the Festival was a big economic boost for the state as it would help to propagate the arts and crafts of the State.

Also in attendance was the Honourable Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Hon. Paul Ohonbanmu, Commissioner representing Orhionmwon in EDSOPADEC, Hon Osamwonyi Atu, State Permanent Secretaries, Palace Chiefs and other Stakeholders.

Our Royalty, Our Pride

Source: Edo State Ministry of Arts, Culture, Tourism & Diaspora Affairs

Accra, the capital city of Ghana played host once again to West Africa’s regional travel and tourism expo, the Accra Weizo and La Palm Royal Beach Hotel was once again the venue of the two-day event which brought together travel and tourism industry professionals from West Africa and other parts.

Jointly organised by the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) and the Ikechi Uko-led Akwaaba African Travel Market (AfTM), the fifth Accra Weizo opened on Friday June 28, 2019. In his address, Ghana’s Minister of Aviation, Hon. Joseph Kofi Adda noted that despite the increased liberalization of the African aviation industry, some African governments are still hesitant on opening their skies due to fear that foreign competition could undercut their national carriers, some of which are short of commercial viability and merely symbols of sovereignty. He stated however that;

“Ghana on the other hand believes in the liberalization of the skies to boost connectivity and had shown commitment to this by being amongst the African countries who have signed to the Yamoussoukro decision (YD) and SAATM. For West Africa to realise its full potential growth, much emphasis must be placed on connectivity and ease of movement of passengers and goods across borders.

However, enhancing connectivity within the sub-region goes hand in hand with increasing the level of safety and security. These two should be key priorities for the development of seamless travel in the West African and the development of the aviation industry as a whole. The African authorities have endorsed an African Union (AU) backed plan aimed at addressing deficiencies related to aviation safety and security and strengthening the regulatory framework.”

For West Africa to realise its full potential growth, much emphasis must be placed on connectivity and ease of movement of passengers and goods across borders.

He further stated that: “Seamless air transportation will create the market opportunities for local entrepreneurs by creating regional and global economic centers. This is in line with plans of Government in its facilitation of the Continental free trade Area (CFTA) by the Africa Union.  Growth in air transport has directly maps into economic growth due to spill over effects through creation of direct and indirect jobs in the industry and other auxiliary sectors such as tourism and other services sectors. By facilitating tourism and trade, it generates economic growth, improves living standards, alleviates poverty and increases revenue from taxes.”

Several goodwill messages were delivered by various top industry gurus present at the event. Among them was the irrepressible Director-General of the National Council for Arts & Culture (NCAC) of Nigeria and recipient of the 2019 Balafon Travel Award for Tourism Man of the Year, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe who took the audience on a history lesson of the mutual camaraderie between Nigeria and Ghana.

The Nigeria-Ghana Friendship club is to champion the course for the unity, peace, stability and development of Nigeria and Ghana in particular and the West Africa sub-region at large.

Citing examples of several football legends like Yakubu Mabo who played for Nigeria and scored the first goal at the Nigeria National Stadium when it was commissioned in the ‘70s, Otunba Runsewe pointed out that Mabo was actually Ghanaian born. He also mentioned Abdul Razak who captained the Black Stars of Ghana but was actually a Nigerian, among several others. Otunba Runsewe then seized the opportunity to propose the Nigeria-Ghana Friendship Club, which was adopted and subsequently launched later in the day. According to Otunba Runsewe;

“As brothers and neighbours, there is a lot Nigeria and Ghana stand to gain by evolving informal platforms of collaborations and strengthened sub-regional solidarity.

The Nigeria-Ghana Friendship club is to champion the course for the unity, peace, stability and development of Nigeria and Ghana in particular and the West Africa sub-region at large.”

Other goodwill messages were delivered by the Director of Dubai Tourism (Africa), Ms. Stella Fubara; Mr. Austin Cobham, Executive Secretary of Carnival Calabar Commission; Thekiso Rakolojane, Regional Head of South African Tourism (West Africa); Mrs. Olanma Ojukwu (GOTA Voyage, Benin Republic), etc.

Stella Fubara
Austin Cobham
Thekiso Rakolojane
Olanma Ojukwu

The day featured two panels of discussion on aviation and M.I.C.E. respectively, and the presentation of the Balafon Travel Awards, while entertainment interludes to spice things up was provided by the Calabar Carnival queens.

*Images of award presentation and launch of Nigeria-Ghana Friendship Club courtesy of GH-Aviation.

July 2, 2019

As art lovers and culture enthusiasts across the country prepare to participate in the 2019 edition of the National Festival for Arts and Culture (NAFEST) scheduled to hold in Benin City, the Edo State capital, the state government has intensified sensitization of local exhibitors.

Commissioner for Arts, Culture, Tourism and Diaspora Affairs, Hon. Osaze Osemwegie-Ero, who paid a courtesy call on Dr. Mrs. Priscilla Aletor, of the Department of Fine and Applied Arts, University of Benin, assured that about 50 of her works will be showcased during the festival.

Hon. Osaze Osemwegie-Ero with Dr. Mrs. Priscilla Aletor

According to Osemwengie-Ero, the visit to Aletor’s Art Gallery afforded him the opportunity to assess the quality of her works and their suitability for the annual cultural fiesta.

“I am impressed with what she has done, putting her knowledge into painting. It is always good to encourage our people who have such talent. It wasn’t easy for Dr. Aletor to make these beautiful works portraying our culture,” the commissioner said.

He added that efforts were being made by organisers of the festival to allow students of Fine and Applied Arts in the university to showcase their paintings at NAFEST, after which they will be linked to art buyers and collectors.

The commissioner maintained that preparation for 2019 NAFEST was in top gear, and said that the Commissioners of Arts and Culture in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, will converge on Benin City from July 8-12 for the executives of culture seminar.

He explained that the seminar will feature a session where the Director General of the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Otunba Segun Runsewe, will hold a meeting with the Local Organising Committee (LOC), Technical Committee and the Commissioner, to ascertain how prepared they are for the festival.

“The unveiling of the Festival Logo will be done during the seminar. There will be a press briefing and after the seminar, we will commence the proper marketing of the festival, using a mix of communication channels such as bill boards, branding of buses, radio and television commercials amongst others.

Osemwengie-Ero noted that the festival was still open for sponsorship from corporate bodies and individuals so they could showcase their products and services to the over two million people who would attend the event.

Responding, Dr. Aletor said her works depict the Edo Culture, noting that Edo is the home of Arts in the world, with millions of art lovers.

Source: Edo State Ministry of Arts, Culture, Tourism & Diaspora Affairs

All is set for the 2019 Balafon Awards of excellence in tourism across the West African region as the organisers are set to honoured this year’s worthy winners at the fifth Accra Weizo taking place June 28-29, in Accra, Ghana.

The 2019 Accra Weizo is jointly organised by Akwaaba Travel Market and the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA). Last year, at the World Travel Market (WTM London), the GTA signed a 5 year MOU with Akwaaba Travel Market to effect a bigger and better Accra Weizo.

Below is the list of the 2019 Balafon Awards winners:

  • Travel Personality of the Year in West AfricaChief Allen Onyeama (AirPeace)
  • Tourism Man of the Year in West AfricaOtunba Segun Runsewe – DG, Nigeria Council For Art and Culture
  • Aviation Man of the Year in West AfricaCaptain Solomon Quianoo (Ghana)
  • Hotel Personality of the Year in West AfricaAmaechi Ndili – Golden Tulip West Africa
  • Best Airline in West Africa – African World Airline (AWA)
  • Best Hotel in West AfricaKempinski Goldcoast City Hotel
  • Best Airport in West Africa (for government agencies) Kotoka International Airport, Ghana
  • Best Ground Handling Company in West AfricaSkyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCOL)
  • Best Tourism Marketing Agency in West AfricaGhana Tourism Authority
  • Best Tourism Event of the Year in West AfricaCarnival Calabar, Nigeria

Top twenty (20) Conference centers in West Africa

  • Accra International Conference Centre, Ghana
  • Kempinski Goldcoast City Hotel, Ghana
  • La Palm Royal Beach, Accra, Ghana.
  • Movenpick Ambassador Hotel, Accra, Ghana
  • Labadi Hotel, Accra, Ghana
  • Alisa Hotel North ridge, Ghana.
  • Abuja International Conference Centre , Nigeria
  • Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, Nigeria
  • Abuja Sheraton Hotel, Abuja, Nigeria
  • Eko Hotel & Suites Convention Centre, Lagos, Nigeria
  • The Landmark Centre, Lagos, Nigeria.
  • Muson Centre, Lagos, Nigeria
  • King Fahd Palace Hotel, Dakar, Senegal.
  • Salle de conference, Dakar, Senegal.
  • Kairaba Beach Hotel, Gambia
  • Coral Beach, Brufut, Gambia.
  • Palais des Congress, Cotonou, Benin.
  • Hotel du 2 Fevrier, Lome Togo.
  • Sofitel Abidjan Hotel I’voire, Abidjan
  • Hotel President, Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire