ABUJA, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- A colorful art and crafts exhibition opened in the Nigerian capital of Abuja on Tuesday, with 17 African countries and 26 Nigerian states in attendance.
The African Arts and Craft Expo 2017, said to be the largest in Africa, was organized by the Nigerian Council of Arts and Culture (NCAC).
The opening session featured various art performances from different ethnic groups in Nigeria. It was attended by local officials, foreign diplomats and exhibitors.
The carnival-like annual event since 2008 usually attracts shoppers from all parts of the world to the most populous African country.
Segun Runsewe, head of the NCAC, said the government agency was keen on reinventing the Nigerian economy far away from oil, its mainstay.
"We want to use culture to replace oil," he said.
According to him, the colorful opening ceremony and the expo itself would bring about adequate networking among art and culture enthusiasts, as well as open the window of Nigerian arts and craft to the world.
Exhibitors from Cameroon, Senegal, and Gambia, among other Central and West African countries, displayed works of arts depicting their culture.
Antiques and other art works like painting, batik designs, woodworks, locally made shoes were richly displayed at the opening.