Having read some shocking stories about Jos town in central Nigeria over the past few weeks, I would like to also bring you some positive news about the country, to counter these generalisations which give the impression of the whole of Nigeria being a violent country.

In Oyo state, in the South-East of the country, our local expert in Nigeria, Fasoranti Oluseyi Taiwo is organising an educational youth project to increase the awareness of secondary school students towards or about the concept of sustainable tourism. This one-day field trip will involve the children in the development of the concept, by introducing them to a set tourism circuit of a historical site, on which they will be involved in workshops, talks and debates covering different aspects of sustainable tourism. They will also participate in a tree planting scheme to promote environmental awareness and conservation of the local natural heritage.

The historical site in question is the ‘Ancient Warlord Palaces of Idaban’, a location of significance for the local storytellers. It is said that Efunsetan Aniwura, the Iyalode of Ibadan, a powerful, rich and influential High Chief, lost her only child during child labour. Gripped by a terrible sense of loss and the stigma of not having a progeny to inherit her legacies, Efunsetan, who blamed God for her tragedy, vented her anger on the very society she had sworn to defend by the oath she had taken on her installation as the Iyalode of Ibadan.

She became a wicked, cruel, callous, bitter, heartless monster, dreaded by the townspeople. It took the concerted efforts of Ibadan warriors led by Latoosa to loosen her grip of terror on the city. It is a heart-rending story that keeps anyone on the edge of their seat during any theatrical performance that narrates it.
It is hoped that this field trip, by collecting the entry fees to the site and by sourcing local products for the proposed lunch, will make the students value the local natural, cultural and historical heritage as being important elements for the development of tourism and subsequently will ensure the conservation and respect for them.

This project, in association with the Oyo State Government, the Oyo State Tourism Board and various schools from different sectors (private, public and special needs) has been received positively and is being seen as a step forward towards the development and diversification of the tourism industry in a sustainable way.

We will keep you updated on the projects progress.

If you desire to know more about this project, or would like a copy of the project proposal please email us at info@westafricadiscovery.co.uk.

To learn more about West Africa and the Responsible Tourism concept, please visit our website at www.westafricadiscovery.co.uk.

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