A Joyful Nigerian Afternoon at the Berlin Economic Forum

The Embassy of Nigeria to Germany managed to bring warm African vibes to the forum

March 14th, 2019
Elisa Vallette, News from Berlin
20190314_A Joyful Nigerian Afternoon.jpg

On Thursday, March 7th, as part of the Berlin Economic Forum 2019, focusing on Africa, the Embassy of Nigeria to Germany, spread warm Nigerian vibes at the ICD thanks to a typical lunch, traditional clothes, arts objects, music, and a presentation of the political, economic and cultural situation of the country.

First, the Embassy of Nigeria to Germany offered to the participants of the Berlin Economic Forum 2019 a typical Nigerian lunch. Many were surprised by the big round pounded yams, a kind of uncooked bread that should be duken in the egusi yellow soup. Akara, fried bean cakes known as Kosai in Northern Nigeria, were very popular and run out quickly. Many Nigerians usually eat them for breakfast. Rice, meat, fish, and fried plantain, were also on the table of this huge delicious Nigerian buffet.

The Nigerians came in traditional clothes. Women wore elegant dresses, with colorful embroideries. Men putted on their agbadas, which are long dresses for formal events, with a Aso Oke hat. Nigerians authentic objects and art were presented such as a wooden mancala game. The Nigerian Embassy generously brought gifts such as white and green tee-shirts, hats and books.

Then, H. E. Amb. Yusuf Maitama Tuggar, presented his country. With 190,9 million inhabitants spread across 923 763 km˛ of land, Nigeria is often considered as the "Giant of Africa." It is the most populous country in Africa and has the third-largest youth population in the world, after India and China. The Ambassador Yusuf Maitama Tuggar mentioned the decades of military rule his country underwent but was optimistic about the future. The current President Muhammadu Buhari, was democratically elected in 2015 and reelected last February 23rd 2019 with 55% of the vote. His campaign highlighted the fight against corruption.

On the economic front, the government launched the ERGP Economic Recovery and Growth Plan 2017-2020 to cope with the decline in oil prices and diversify its economy. The plan aims at attracting foreign investors and building a globally competitive economy thanks to 5 main strategies: stabilize the macro environment, achieve food security, ensure energy sufficiency, improve transportation infrastructures, and drive industrialization through SMEs. Furthermore, the government tackles the issue of youth unemployment by creating job opportunities in the agribusiness sector. For instance, the NIRSAL program, managed by the Central Bank of Nigeria, easily grant agricultural loans. According to the Ambassador, the large population of Nigeria is not an obstacle but rather a positive factor for economic growth. He gave the example of high demand for telecommunication devices.

After justifying his optimism for Nigeria’s political and economic situation, H.E. Ambassador Yusuf Maitama Tuggar praised the Nigerian culture. Besides good food, the Nigerian booming film industry- Nollywood- produces around two thousand movies per year and starts to become well-known around the world. The audience got the chance to experience the country’s culture by itself thanks to the tasty food, authentic African decoration and cheerful Nigerians present at the ICD on this rainy afternoon. The event celebrating Nigeria’s culture was a success as it created a warm African ambience at the ICD.

News from Berlin