Global demand to connect origins by African diaspora
…Can deliver $3 billion annually to Yoruba States
Culture tourism in Africa is surging due to the growing demand from the African diaspora to connect with their origins. The Yoruba race, with a rich cultural heritage dating back centuries, has transcended borders during the African slave trade to countries like Trinidad, Cuba, Brazil, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
With over 8 million people claiming Yoruba ancestry, Oyo and Ogun State in South Western Nigeria have a unique chance to tap into this vast diaspora population and generate over $3-4 billion annually through cultural tourism.
This potential is evident when compared to religious pilgrimages to Israel and Mecca, which received about 2.6 million and 2.4 million visitors in 2022 respectively. Hajj was poised to generate about $150 billion in 2022 according to experts. Moreover, the rise of DNA testing has further fueled the desire for connecting with African origins globally.
By providing people with the ability to unlock information about their genetic ethnicity and traits, DNA testing has opened up new opportunities for the African diaspora to trace their ancestral roots.
In a conversation with Olukayode Adebayo, Tech Founder of Ckrowd.com and a Culture Economy Expert, he explained the vast potential for Oyo and Ogun States to become a Cultural Mecca or Israel for the Yoruba diaspora. “There is an existing demand for cultural tourism in the region due to the rise of DNA testing globally fueled by the desire to connect with African origins. Many with confirmed Yoruba ancestry abroad seek to trace their origins to South Western Nigeria for closure and a deeper understanding of their heritage.”, he said.
As President of KAM Africa and curator of AMFEST EXPO, he has organized successful cultural showcases across the African Continent, driving an economic impact of about N70 billion across different host cities over the past 8 years.
As the world continues to appreciate the importance of preserving cultural identity, Oyo and Ogun State can become major players in cultural tourism, reaping huge Internally Generated Revenue.
The rich Yoruba culture will deliver high economic and commercial value if these Governments can build infrastructures and global activities around attracting her lost Sons & Daughters, together with cultural enthusiasts from all over the world.
Attracting them to come, while creating unique experiences, facilitating proper education about the culture and history. The demand already does exist.
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