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EDC Trainees Clothe Lagos Black Heritage



Africa Leadership Forum Secretariat

At the Lagos Black Heritage Festival, which took place between April 3 and 9, 2011, the fruitful collaborative strategy between the Lagos State Vocational Skills Acquisition Centre and the Entrepreneurship Development Centre, Lagos, played a crucial role in helping to fine-tune the creative and value added artistry of unemployed youth, necessary to help achieve large scale job creation by which poverty and hunger can be devastatingly dealt with.

What seemingly attracted participants and tourists at the Lagos Black Heritage Festival were the 93,000 costumes on display at the event. Generally, one's presumed judgement would have imagined the fortune that was spent by the government to import these costumes, as they were beautifully arrayed in forms of insect wings, butterflies and weevils, as well as the petals of sun flowers with others having the shape of the moon and stars.

Tourists were overwhelmed with the beauty, colourful display and ingenuity of the participants. Little did we know that these costumes were all made by the instructors and students of the Vocational Skills Acquisition Centres who worked tirelessly for four months to produce the 93,000 pieces of costumes that were paraded. Governor Fashola emphatically stated with pride at the event that no foreign supervisors or artisans were brought into the country to aid or make any of the costumes.

An excited Fashola enthused: "Everything you see today were made here in Lagos by your children, your brothers, and sisters, your wives and husbands during an enterprising period of commercial exchanges, job creation and team work that shows that nothing is impossible for us to achieve in Lagos, once we set our minds to do it".

Over 5000 beneficiaries have received vocational and entrepreneurship skills in various fields from the 16 Vocational Centres spread across different Local Governments Areas of Lagos, and, at least 4000 young persons' are registered for every new session at the 16 centres to acquire entrepreneurial and vocational  skills in hair dressing, tie and dye, vulcanising/wheel balancing and alignment, screen transfer, printing technology, air conditioner repairs, photography, interior decoration, refrigeration and air-conditioning repairs, dress and shoe making.

Other newly introduced technical skills in the expanded curriculum that now incorporates Welding, Aluminum Fabrication, Tile and Interlocking Stone Laying, Vulcanising & Wheel Balancing, Printing/Lithographic Transfer in addition to the existing vocation in Computer Appreciation and Programming, Fashion Designing/Sewing, Catering/Hotel Management, Textile/Hat Design, Photography, Adult Literacy and Counselling.

There is no doubt that under aegis of the new Lagos Black Heritage Festival, the Hospitality and Tourism sector has ambitious plans for future growth in Lagos State and from the display of the incredible skills of the empowered youth in the just concluded festival, subsequent events will not be hampered by a shortage of skilled people.














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