The Lagos State Government in collaboration with the African Coconut Heritage Initiatives is set to host the 7th edition of the Coconut Heritage Festival tagged ‘AGUNKEFEST’ in commemoration of the 2018 World Coconut Day as listed in the state’s calendar of cultural events released earlier in the year.
The event is scheduled to hold on Sunday, September 2, 2018 at the Suntan Beach Front, Badagry.
A statement on Friday by the Special Adviser to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on Arts & Culture, Mrs. Aramide Giwanson, said the objective of the celebration was to provide an avenue to create awareness on the array of invaluable economic, health and environmental benefits that coconut offers amidst cultural manifestation.
“In addition, the festival intends to draw global attention and to beam searchlight on Badagry division of the state and thereby showcasing its rich cultural and traditional values to attract both domestic and international tourists to the division.
“The celebration is also in line with the state government’s vision and commitment to develop every division of the state, as well showcase its cultural and economic potential to the world,” she said.
Activities lined-up to celebrate the one-day programme, according to the statement, will start with a symposium in the morning on the theme of the celebration – “Harnessing Coconut Production for Economic Empowerment and Tourism Development in Lagos State,” which will be delivered by an authority in the coconut industry, Dr. Charles Aisagbonhi, the Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Institute of Oil Palm Research Benin, Edo State.
This will be followed up with a grand finale ceremony, where all stakeholders in the industry and coconut value chain will exhibit their products, and the day’s event will be rounded up with cultural displays and entertainment amongst different communities in the 57 Local Government Areas and Local Council Development areas in the State.
The festival, which made its debut in 2009, is meant to annually celebrate coconut in reminiscence of the first coconut plantation in Nigeria established by the Roman Catholic Mission on the Topo Island in Badagry in 1876.