Sanwo-Olu: Lagos to Harness Gaming, Entertainment, and Tourism Sectors’ Potential

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The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Wednesday said the State Government has re-calibrated the thrust of tourism through the development of a Tourism Master Plan and Tourism Policy for economic regeneration.

He said part of his administration’s commitment and renewed determination in line with the THEMES+ economic agenda is to leverage the potential of the gaming, entertainment and tourism sectors.

The Governor said the initiatives, aimed at increasing Lagos share of the African gaming market to at least 30 percent and solidifying the status of State as a key player in the gaming industry, is being propelled through the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model.

Governor Sanwo-Olu spoke on Wednesday at the ongoing Africa Gaming Expo Lagos 2024, at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

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He said the central theme of the Expo: “Exploring the Future of the Africa Gaming Market: Emerging Trends, Prospects and Opportunities” is apt and speaks directly to the key objectives that the Expo is set to achieve, against the backdrop of the relatively nascent nature of the industry in Africa.

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Speaking on the importance of the Africa Gaming Expo, Governor Sanwo-Olu said the overall objective of the historic gathering of stakeholders and operators, Game Developers, Investment Bankers, Venture Capitalists, Government Gaming Regulators, and other Gaming Stakeholders across the globe is to discuss and examine the Regulatory Frameworks, Emerging Trends, Challenges, Opportunities, and Prospects in the Africa Gaming Market and the gaming value chain.

The Governor believed that the Africa Gaming Expo would also provide a unique opportunity to review the present industry practices against global best standards and chart a new course for the future of the Gaming Market in Africa which is currently estimated at $7.8 billion.

He said: “For us in Lagos State, as an emerging smart city, the sub-theme of the Expo – “Entertainment, Gaming and Tourism: A Nexus for Economic Growth” would appear more germane as it speaks to the integral part of the State’s economic agenda and priorities.

“Lagos is indeed well-known for its commercial and political grandeur. It is regarded as the commercial and entertainment capital of Africa and has remained committed to the development of the nation’s tourism sector through entertainment and cultural export across various entities like movie, music, fashion and recently gaming, to mention but few.

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“No doubt, we are indeed in the right place. Convening the African Gaming Expo in Lagos could not have come at a better time as it portends to strategically reinforce the State Government’s Development Agenda as encapsulated in T.H.E.M.E.S+ Agenda, specifically the sixth pillar – Entertainment and Tourism.

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“Today, Lagos State is one of the top 10 fastest growing cities in the World, ranks 6th in GDP in Africa and contributes over 25 percent of the GDP in Nigeria. However, Lagos State still needs more support in terms of investment in the Entertainment and Tourism sector.
“The State has one of the best protocols for ease of doing business. This Expo would provide our partners insight into the investment opportunities waiting to be explored in our Entertainment, Gaming and Tourism industry in the State.”

Governor Sanwo-Olu called for collaboration among the stakeholders for new ideas and strategies that will lead to the full realisation of the socio-economic potentials of the gaming, entertainment and tourism industry in Africa.
Speaking earlier the Chief Executive Officer, of Lagos State Lotteries and Gaming Authority, Mr. Bashir Are, commended Governor Sanwo-Olu’s administration for its unwavering commitment to revolutionise the gaming industry through effective regulation, by leveraging modern technological innovation and global best practices.
He said the Africa Gaming Expo was to exchange ideas and share valuable insights that would change the face of gaming while harmonising the standard and regulations in Africa.

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In his welcome address, the Chief Executive Officer, of Africa Gaming Expo Limited, Dr. Charles Ekundayo, said “the aim of organising the Expo is rooted in promoting the Africa Gaming Market while fostering collaboration among industry professionals and addressing the challenges faced in the industry.”

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The 2024 Africa Gaming Expo attracts over 35 speakers in the industry and hundreds of delegates from different countries in Africa and outside of the continent.

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