“I will enter a Michelin restaurant in United Kingdom and I will find egusi in their menu. My vision is that one day, I will be in China and find ofada stew in their menu because Nigerians have become an economic force all over the world.”
Those were the words of Mr. Kayode Adebayo, the Chief convener of Africa Music Festival (AMFEST) and Culture Expo, a series of creativity industry business conferences focusing on six creative industries – music, film, fashion, food, creative arts and technology.
AMFEST is being organised by KAM Africa, headed by Adebayo, in conjunction with Goldrock Inc. USA and Initiative for information, Arts and Culture Development (IACD) in Nigeria.
Mr Adebayo spoke at Food Amfest, held on Saturday at the IACD Resource Centre, Jericho, Ibadan.
The event brought together practitioners in the culinary businesses to discuss ways by which Nigerian food could be branded, exported and used to generate foreign exchange while promoting the Nigerian culture and identity.
The panelists who spoke at the event were young food entrepreneurs. They include Ololade Oyeleke,( Aunty Lolade’s kitchen), Ife Solomon( Peppered Rice Foods) and Babatunde Kolawole (A photographer).
In an interview on the sidelines of the event, Mr Adebayo explained that the idea of Food Amfest “is to become a business incubation initiative where those who want to start a food business can be directed and guided,” adding that the platform will help culinary artists develop their products, and teach them on how to export to generate foreign exchange.
He disclosed that another food festival tagged, Kponula Festival will be organised in December where vendors of various traditional and contemporary dishes will have stands to display and serve food directly from the pot for a fee.
He said AMFEST was gathering data for Google which will reach out to the food practitioners and train them on how to use technology to publish their food, fetch customers’ data and continue to get customers’ feedback.
“When you tell an average Nigerian business about exporting their services, it all gets clumsy in their minds. In China, the smallest companies know how to put together an arrangement to expand into the international space. Until we are able to do that, we won’t stop having these economic challenges,” he said.
“And as a matter of fact, these economic challenges provide a good avenue to help us as a country to begin to look at exportation. No country in the world has been able to thrive without exportation.”he concluded.