A Nigerian artist, Vincent Kolo, has won the $50,000 Nefertiti grand prize for creativity during a virtual festival as part of Africa Integration Day celebration.
The Africa Integration Day, which is celebrated every July 7, was initiated in 2019 during African Union’s summit on African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to popularise economic integration across the continent as a lever of inclusive sustainable development.
The virtual festival was launched this year by the AU and Afrochampions, a pan-African business leadership network to broaden the Africa Integration Day celebration into a month-long event, starting July 1.
The festival, dubbed ”The Boma of Africa” is a series of insightful convening with creative arts challenge to drive the ‘African Integration’ agenda, exploring themes such as “African unity is about difference, African science is universal science, Africa’s future is in its past and Globalisation is Africa’s friend,” a statement by organisers of the event said.
Mr Kolo won the visual art category with his artwork ‘The Cords of Yesterday’.
“The grand prize was awarded for work that passionately highlights the contemporary quest for Africa to learn from its past, take charge of its present and build its own unique vision of a united, prosperous, future,” the statement read.
Nigeria’s former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, presented the cash award to the winner at the virtual ceremony on Tuesday.
The grand prize was sponsored by Afreximbank and Commercial International Bank.
The chairman, AfroChampions executive committee, Edem Adzogenu,commended winners in all categories of the creative arts challenge that included literature, cinematography, culinary art, visual art, fashion and craft.
“We would like to sincerely congratulate all the winners on their fantastic achievements, and for creating artworks that speak to Africa’s unity and future,” Mr Adzogenu was quoted as saying.
“It has been wonderful seeing government and the private sector come together from across the continent for the first Boma of Africa Festival to celebrate integration and the passion and creativity that will bring it to us.”
Other categories won by participants at the event include $15,000 prize for social justice, $10,000 prize for African renaissance and $5,000 prize for literary excellence.
Meanwhile, Albert Muchanga, AU’s trade and industry commissioner, said the first-ever Africa Integration Day was made possible through collaborative efforts.