British Council celebrates 75 years in Nigeria

Samuel Okocha, Lagos

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British Council celebrates 91 outstanding students as its marks 75 years in Nigeria.

The British Council is celebrating 75 years in Nigeria as it renews its commitment as a development partner in the country.

 “We are working with the people of Nigeria and building our programmes to respond to the needs of the country,” Lucy Pearson, Country Director of the British Council Nigeria, told Voice of Nigeria.

She said the Council has been supporting the arts and creative sector and had formed partnerships between the UK and Nigeria in the film and fashion sector.

Nigeria has a vibrant creative sector which has been making cultural exploits abroad through its music and movies.

With more than half of the population under the age of 30, the creative sector has potential to curb youth unemployment.

“Support like this has helped in the work of nurturing creativity and investing in the imagination of young people in Nigeria,” Efe Paul Azino, one of Nigeria’s leading performance poets, told Voice of Nigeria.

Efe is the founder of the Lagos International Poetry Festival, an annual event of poetry, performance and conversations.

“Every year since the festival started in 2015, the British Council have been supporting and that has gone a long way in helping the young people who are part of the workshops, the master classes and the school outreaches that we do,” he said.

Dignitaries gathered at an event centre in Lagos for British Council 75 years anniversary in Nigeria. June 22, 2019.

Youth entrepreneurs
Meanwhile, the British Council in Nigeria plans to continue its work around employability, skills and job creation in the years ahead.

“Our focus is going to be on youth from ages 18 to 35 years. This could be across the arts and creative industries to support youth entrepreneurs and start-ups, not necessarily with grants, but networks and opportunities which is what the British Council does.

“We would build connections and mentorships with them and build their capacities while continuing our work in inclusive education so everyone has a fair chance to opportunities in life,” Lucy Pearson said.

 

Sammie Idika