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Highlights From French President Macron’s Visit To New Afrika Shrine

By Chidirim Ndeche with Agency Report 04 July 2018   |   10:00 am

Late Tuesday, French President Macron touched down in Lagos during his visit to Nigeria to talk security and boost culture ties and went directly to the Shrine, where he praised Nollywood — Nigeria’s massive film industry — and the country’s music.

Describing the concert hall as “iconic”, Macron said that “we have to build a new common narrative” in Africa.

“You have to recognise the bad and negative pages of this history, but you have to move forward,” he said to applause.

Macron launched the African Cultural Season which will take place in France in 2020, at an event showcasing music, fashion and theatre.

The choice of location surprised many Nigerians given its association with the anti-establishment musician.

No elected president is believed to have previously officially visited the spiritual home of the so-called “Black President”, which is more synonymous with marijuana smoke and gyrating dancers than diplomatic niceties.

When asked about life as an intern in Nigeria, Macron was tight-lipped about his past.

“Obviously I will not share all those memories because what happens in the Shrine remains in the Shrine,” Macron said to huge cheers and laughs.

On Wednesday, the president is set to inaugurate the new Alliance Francaise, a cultural centre, and is scheduled to meet young Nigerian entrepreneurs.

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