The Calabar Carnival Commission has said that this year’s carnival will foster unity amongst Africans within and beyond Africa. Addressing the media at the recently concluded Accra Weizo in Accra, Ghana, the Special Adviser to the Cross River State Government, Hon. Kenn Aklah said the theme of this year’s event is “Africanism”, and the drive is to promote unity through concrete innovation, using the festival and carnival as a uniting force for the African continent.
He said Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State believes strongly in the unity of Africa. Hon. Kenn stressed that the major interest of the government is to truly see how to make the carnival better, saying, “we have always been encouraging people to come to Calabar Carnival to experience the beauty of our land. “The most important thing is that the carnival must continually grow in terms of value added. What we call value addition to Carnival Calabar is that, year in, year out, we introduce new things so that monotony does not set in and people do not get fed up with the carnival, that’s how we created the international carnival, bikers parade, Miss Africa within three years that we came on board,” he added.
In his contribution, the Chairman RemLords Tours, Mr Nkeruewem Onung stated that, “the interesting thing about Calabar Carnival is the fact that you have product of products, events that will keep someone in a destination for five days. “Someone can come for the bikers parade as main event and go back, you can come for Miss Africa as a main event and go back, so those are the things that make the tour operators a bit tight.
“For us we believe that the carnival has become an event that generates a lot for the community in terms of revenue and we will like to thank the Governor for the real time experience. Again, God has helped us that we’ve not had any security issues. These are part of the things that make the carnival what it is”, Nkeruewem said.
He assured visitors that there will be enough accommodation for as many participants who wish to come for the carnival as the government is already planning ahead. He encouraged people to book rooms before the carnival so as to avoid disappointment when visiting in December.
Chairman Calabar Carnival Commission, Mr Gabe Onah assured intending visitors that this year’s carnival will be better as the carnival itself will tell the African story to the young people. He however charged the hoteliers to market their products, as well as try to seize every opportunity to make available their rooms for the carnival. “The government has created a new innovation and opportunity for the hotelier. The sustainability of that investment now is in the hand of the private sector because it is an opportunity that the private sector must run with,’ Onah said.
Mr. Agweye Emmanuel, The Principal Partner, Promotional and Innovation Synergy Ltd, the official marketing company for Carnival Calabar, adding his voice to the discussion, said that the most interesting thing is that the government is keen on giving back to the people. “Going forward from this year, we feel that other than the carnival itself we should look at other component that can generate revenue and one of such is the festival village,” he said. He disclosed that the agency is also looking at the holistic approach that will change the entire economy of the state promising that his company will partner the Cross Rivers State government.