The Cross River Government on Thursday announced its plans to host Africa’s biggest festival, which would be attended by 54 African countries in Calabar.
The festival titled: `The Africa Festival of Arts and Culture (AFRIFAC)’ will be held in the third quarter of 2020 and will be an eight-day cultural fiesta.
Speaking to newsmen on preparations for the event in Calabar, Mr Utsu Atsu, Managing Director, Cross River Tourism Bureau, said the event would be the biggest in Africa after FESTAC 77.
Atsu said Gov. Ben Ayade of Cross River came up with the event to forge peace, unity and togetherness among the countries in Africa.
“The event would be held at the third quarter of 2020 with the 54 African countries to be in attendance.
“There are a lot of things that would be showcased in this event like the Africa carnival, calisthenics, acrobatics, magic shows and formula K which is an electric car race.
“Others include Mr and Miss Africa pageant, Africa cuisine display, Africa talisman show, ‘technovation’ and others that will be held in different venues in the state capital.
“On the choice of electric cars, the governor is trying to send a strong message to the whole world that Cross River is aware of climate change and is taking steps to curb its effects,” he said.
In his remark, the Cross River Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mr Eric Anderson, said the festival was not replacing the Carnival Calabar held every December in the state.
Anderson said it was just the desire of the state government to spread events all year round in the state to encourage visitors into the state not only in December but regularly.
“We want to see how we can decentralise events from the festive period which is December to have people come to Calabar within the year, not only at the end of the year.
“A lot of multinationals are already interested to be part of the fiesta. We hope to ensure its sustainability in the state,” he said.
Mr Effiom Effiwatt, Director-General, Cross River Signage and Advertisement Agency, said the economic opportunities during the festival were limitless for the residents of the state and its environs.
He called on residents to use the opportunity of the festival to ensure that they offer services and products, as there would be a huge influx of visitors to the state during the festival.