French President, Emmanuel Macron has urged Nigerian youths to get involved with politics to change the narratives of the country.
He noted that the future of Africa and the task of rebuilding it to make it great wholly rested with African youths.
Macron threw up the challenge to the youths at an event tagged “Celebrate African Culture” at the Afrika Shrine in Ikeja, on Tuesday night.
The French president who was accompanied by Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State to the event said only Nigerians could change their image before the comity of nations as he urged Nigerian youths to get involved with politics to change the narrative of the country.
Macron while describing the importance of politics said; “Africa needs a new generation of Africans to share the new narrative about Africa all over the world.”
According to him, politics is important because it is a tool to change the society.
“I am very happy to be here. Let me remind you that this place — shrine is a music place as well as politics which is needed to change the society.
“So, I will say to the youths, politics is important, be involved,” he said.
Macron also announced the launch of the 2020 African cultures season in France.
He said the event would help create a unique face for African culture in Europe.
The French President, who was trained as a senior civil servant at the French Embassy in Lagos in 2004, seven years after Fela died, described the Shrine as a cultural and iconic hub.
He revealed that he had been to the Shrine before for a concert by Fela Kuti’s son, Femi. “It’s an incredible, vibrant place,” he said.
“First, because I wanted to find a good occasion to come back here, I know the place and I have some memories.
Macron confessed that he was not a stranger to the club adding that he recognised the Shrine as an important place for lovers of African culture.
“I have to confess at a time that there was no president around, I hope I will not spoil the party.
“I think that is such an iconic place for a lot of African people and African culture.
“And I think very often when you speak of the African culture in Europe, those who succeeded in Europe and in France, which is different most of the times, are not dramatically very famous in Nigeria or in Africa.
“And there is a bias because you know people are absolutely not the same. I mean Fela, Femi, Seun Kuti are obviously very famous in France and Europe,
“I mean they are big successes but the Shrine is a cultural hub, an iconic hub and is very important for me first on a personal level, and that is why I want to say with a lot of humility that I recognise the importance of this place, I recognise the place of culture in this current environment,” he said.
Macron also expressed the readiness of French government to promote sport and cultural relations between Nigeria and France to address the problem of unemployment among youths in both countries.
The event presented an opportunity for Macron and Ambode to interact with musicians, artists, fashion designers and filmmakers
The event had in attendance personalities including, Dr Peter Obi, former governor of Anambra, Chief Olusegun Osoba, former governor of Ogun, Prof. Wole Soyinka, Sen. Ben Bruce among others.