By Selin Calik Muhasilovic
Nigeria, regarded as the most populous black nation in the world and called the “Giant of Africa”, celebrates 56 years of its independence this year.
Nigeria's recent history is the history of suffering caused by the oil. The Biafra War between 1967 and 1970 was the most severe.
Nigerian people are very knowledgeable and they have open culture. Nigeria is a highly-diverse nation with over 400 ethnicities and that diversity is the source of its strength, HRM Dokun Thompson, the Oba of Eti Oni, State of Osun, told Anadolu Agency.
Two hallmarks of Nigeria: Nollywood and Cocoa
Nigeria got ahead of its rival, South Africa, as the continent’s largest economy, thanks in part to the explosive growth of its film industry, Nollywood.
Norimitsu Onishi, called the Nollywood man after his well-known published article – “Step Aside, L.A. and Bombay, for Nollywood” – in the New York Times in 2002, writes in another article titled “Nigeria’s Booming Film Industry Redefines African Life” published in 2016 that the stories told by Nigeria’s booming film industry, known as Nollywood, have emerged as a cultural phenomenon across Africa, the vanguard of the country’s growing influence across the continent in music, comedy, fashion and even religion.
Besides Nollywood, agricultural business has accelerated Nigeria’s economy. Cocoa leads the agricultural export of the country. Nigeria is the world’s fourth-largest producer of the commodity after Ivory Coast, Indonesia and Ghana, and third-largest exporter after Ivory Coast and Ghana.
“Nigeria has had her challenges in the area of cocoa production. We were the second-largest producer at some point but today we are number five or six.
“For me, it is not how much we produce that matters, but how much value we can add to our production and I believe that is the area we are focusing on now, and there is a lot of effort in this area to educate investors and stakeholders so that we would not only produce the best in terms of quality of our cocoa beans, but we would also have intermediary and finished cocoa products that can compete globally,” Thompson said.
He added: “To develop the economy, every year the cocoa festival has been held in The Kingdom of Eti-Oni, the birthplace of cocoa in Nigeria since 1896.
“This year it comes up between 27 November and 4 December, 2016, and is being opened to the outside world and it is set to attract significant attention from agriculturalists [new and established], agro – tourists, and local and international travel enthusiasts. The festival would also have a produce and food fair amongst other events to make the week a memorable one.”
‘The relation is of mutual benefit to Turkey and Africa’
Last week, Turkish-African Economy and Business Forum was held in Istanbul. It was an important summit where a new developmental approach was discussed. Construction, health care, food, sustainability and similar issues were discussed to make cooperation.
Anthony Mothae Maruping, economic affairs commissioner at the African Union Commission, emphasized the role of Istanbul in acting as a bridge with African countries. Additionally, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: “We are developing long-term cooperation with African countries based on a win-win concept."
Thompson, as a Nigerian Traditional Ruler, pointed out the importance of these mutual benefits thanks to Turkish and African relations.
“A good example in this sort of cooperation is that of Turkish Airlines which opens dozens routes in Africa. The differences in cultures across the world as well as diversity in environmental conditions and natural resources is the very reason for bilateral trade and these have also brought about exchanges even in education, entertainment and sports for people across the globe to do business and live in harmony with one another,” he adds.