By Benjamin Njoku
Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State is set to reverberate again as the pan-African reward system for the motion picture practitioners, African Movie Academy Award,AMAA, finds a new home in the garden city.
AMAA will be making its debut in Port-Harcourt this year, after it successful held nine consecutive editions in Bayelsa State, one in Abuja, Lagos and Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The Rivers state government recently signed the hosting right with the management of AMAA making the oil-rich state the second sub-national government in Nigeria to tap into the huge potentials of AMAA for destination branding.
According to a statement jointly signed by the state commissioner of culture and tourism, Mrs. Tonye Briggs Oniyide, on behalf of Governor Wike and the founder of the awards organization, Ms. Peace Anyiam-Osigwe, hosting the award this year will be the beginning of a partnership that will add immense value to the people of the state and the host city in particular as the government is determined to position Port Harcourt as a destination of choice in Nigeria and West Africa.
“We are repositioning Rivers State as a state ready for business with Nigerians and the rest of the world and our partnership with AMAA will become a veritable platform to attract tourists, global and Nigeria icons in business and the entertainment industry. We want to showcase Rivers State as a peaceful place where socio-economic activities thrive and also the hospitality of our people. There is a huge economy around entertainment and show business in Port Harcourt,” Mrs. Briggs said.
The commissioner also added that the state will soon unveil a calendar of entertainment and tourism activities that will create job opportunities for the teeming youths of the state.
Speaking on the new partnership with the state, AMAA founder, Ms. Anyiam-Osigwe said that it marks the beginning of a new phase in the journey of the continental awards that started 12 years ago. This year’s awards will now take place on Saturday 11 June, 2016 while the nomination night where nominees into the 28 categories will be announced will hold on Wednesday May 11th, 2016.