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Former Anambra State Governor Peter Obi has described the Nigerian movie industry as a unifying factor that can help the country lead the world.
Addressing the audience at the just-concluded Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF), Obi said the impact of Nollywood is glaring and can be used as an example of what film can do to Africa, describing the industry as a phenomenal export from Nigeria.
“I don’t think anything has impacted our contribution to Africa as much as Nollywood. It allows Nigerian actors to be able to tell our own stories, even our history. In today’s knowledge and creative economy all over the world, you can see our contribution.
“Nollywood has added about $7.3 billion to our GDP. It has employed about one million Nigerians and it is the second largest employer of labour after agriculture. And I’m sure it will do more, looking at what is happening here today,” he said.
According to Obi, the day we unite and bring diverse Nigerians together, we would lead the world.
“You can see it tonight. There is no issue of tribalism and you only see this when there is creativity. It is based on talent and hard work. I am sure that with talents like this, we will build a better Nigeria. The young ones should take over,” Obi added.
Also speaking, founder of AFRIFF, Chioma Ude, said the festival, in its sixth year, continues to be at the forefront of promoting African cinemas, and from this year’s programme, the evolution is a great.

“In the last six years, we’ve covered three cities. We’ve had over 20,000 visitors of which 30 per cent were foreign. Each year, our open invitation to the world stakes on exhibiting the large diversity of ethnicities, culture and language.
“Personally, for me, the thrust of the festival is the training it provides to young minds. We’ve trained over 1,300 of those minds in our workshops and we continue to emphasise that AFRIFF should, and must educate as much as it entertains. AFRIFF has created a space in which education and entertainment can cohesively co-exist, and I’m proud to say that we have brought several members of this AFRIFF family to develop the entertainment industry from the skills they acquired in their training,” she said.
Ude also promised that AFRIFF will continue to influence both the young and the old, illustrating the significance of the African film industry as a grand profession in the continent.
“And we will remind our global audience that we are here and as long as we live, we have a story to tell,” she concluded.

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