In line with its commitment to developing and promoting tourism across communities in Nigeria and Africa, Goge Africa Worldwide Limited has kicked off its campaign in this respect with the recent launch of its Twin Towns project, designed to connect communities based on shared values and heritage.
The pilot communities are Badagry (Lagos State) and Bonny (Rivers State). The project was made public during a visit by Goge Africa team and a group of youths from Bonny, who were participants at the recently held tourism training session by Goge Africa, in partnership with Nigeria LNG, to the Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.
Goge Africa’s CEO, Isaac Moses, explained that though both towns are separated by about 500 kilometres, they have a lot in common, including the fact that both seaside communities served as embarkation ports during the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.
Besides, both communities share a lot of features in trade and tourism assets, which need to be further developed and promoted. “Historically, both towns were among the earliest to welcome the British and embrace Christianity; they were and still are both renowned for their rich cultural heritage,” said Moses, adding that “with these striking parallels, Goge Africa is happy and proud to be the bridge that is about to connect both communities.”
The ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Princess Adenike Adedoyin-Ajayi, commended Goge Africa for facilitating the human capital development of the participants as they look forward to a future as ambassadors of domestic tourism.
“The organisers have put a lot of thought into this and the least we can do as a ministry is to support them, because it is our mandate,” Adedoyin-Ajayi said.
“We (Rivers and Lagos] are not in competition,” she noted, explaining that: “We have a duty to promote both destinations equally; when visitors come to Lagos, we can tell them to visit Bonny and vice versa, or any other parts of Nigeria for that matter. Though we might belong to different states or ethnic groups, at the end of the day we are all Nigerians.”
The Managing Director of Goge Africa, Mrs. Nneka Isaac – Moses, said that the Twin Towns project was initiated as part of a two-week tourism training programme in Lagos for 20 youths from Bonny Kingdom sponsored by the Nigeria Liquefied natural Gas Limited.
During the two-week training, the team toured Badagry where they were exposed to some of the tourist attractions of the community with a view to exploring the similarity between Badagry and Bonny. Some of the spots visited included: Badagry Heritage Museum, Brazillian Baracoon, Mobee Family Slave Relics Museum, Vlekete Slave Market and premises of the first-storey building.
Also visits were paid to the Akran of Badagry, Mobee of Badagry, and Wawu of Badagry in their respective palaces. In Topo community, the Baale welcomed the team with the awe-inspiring Zengbeto performance.