ABUJA – Some African Exhibitors at the seventh edition of the African Arts and Crafts Expo (AFAC) have called on the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) to create more awareness about future exhibitions.
Mrs Shara Nekomba, a Namibian exhibitor, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Friday that creating more awareness would increase the number of exhibitors from African countries.
Nekomba said that though level of participation was high, there was need to create more awareness to avoid low patronage in future exhibitions.
She said that there had been difficulties in currency differences resulting in a few people visiting and buying goods at the exhibition.
She said that there was also the need for the organisers to take into consideration currency barriers at the next exhibition.
“We have not sold anything since we arrived for the expo and the reason for this is variance in the currency of participating countries.
“The organisers have not communicated properly to the buyers.
“An American dollar is equivalent to our eight Namibia dollars, so when we try to convert it to Nigerian currency, the price is too much for them to pay.
“Even when we reduce the price by five per cent discount, the people still cannot afford to buy our goods,” Nekomba said.
She, however, applauded the organising committee for a fantastic job in the area of security and said that the security arrangement was excellent.
Mr Gabriel Prah, a Ghanian exhibitor, who specialises in wood crafts, Kente Dresses and Batakari, stressed the need for Federal Government to improve on its cultural values and styles.
Prah said that the Nigerian government should also ensure that cultural groups from other countries were well represented at the next AFAC in order to empower Africans.
“There are duplication of work of arts here and for it to be unique, there should be representation of different types of activities ranging from arts, crafts and dances from cultural groups.
“If this is done in the next expo, it will encourage people to grow and those who want to showcase their culture through dance can then be identified.”
Another participant from Togo, who preferred anonymity, advised other exhibitors to always make their prices competitive for African countries to come in and patronise their products.
She said that the population of exhibitors and buyers were low, when compared to those of previous years, which according to her was due to inadequate information passed across to the people.
“For the next expo, NCAC must empower the youths by visiting tertiary institutions and schools.
“They can as well introduce social network in schools by building up young people capable of improving the cultural exchange between participating countries.”
She, however, advised the entire participants to keep up their excellent work to promote and upgrade African arts and cultural standards. (NAN)