Monday, July 31, 2017

Make Makoko Africa's First Destination for Waterfront Tourism

Makoko, Lagos/footage courtesy of Edward Burtynsky/THE ANTHROPOCENE PROJECT.

Makoko is famous for having the most popular waterfront slum in the world, fondly called the "Black Venice" of Africa by the Western news media and has attracted several documentary photographers and filmmakers. The popular award winning Nigerian filmmaker, Femi Odugbemi did his best to capture the depth of Makoko in motion picture in his critically acclaimed short documentary, Makoko: Futures Afloat and in his romantic drama, Gidi Blues.

Makoko is a small neighbourhood across the 3rd Mainland Bridge located on the coast of mainland Lagos. A third of the community is built on stilts along the lagoon and the rest is on the land. The waterfront part of the community is largely harboured by the Egun people who migrated from Badagary and Republic of Benin and whose main occupation is fishing.

The most visionary young architect and urbanist to come out of Africa, Kunlé Adeyemi of NLÉ became famous for building the Makoko Floating School which he exhibited the installation at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2016 and won the Silver Lion. It was reported that his ambitious plans to transform the Makoko waterfront slum into a floating city saved it from demolition by the Lagos state government and saved thousands of the residents from eviction.

Makoko Floating School.
Photo Credit: Naija.Com.

The fantastic vision of Kunlé Adeyemi for Makoko waterfront can make it Africa's first international tourist destination for waterfront tourism like the Waterfront Amaravati Tourism which the Lagos state government should explore the opportunities as shown in the Amaravati Tourism Plan.

Amaravati is the de facto capital city of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The 7 km (approx) long river Krishna active waterfront will be a prime tourist attraction offering scenic views and attractive waterfront parks and promenades. A wide spectrum of recreation and entertainment facilities have been planned along the waterfront, complemented by a range of waterfront hotels, resorts, F&B, service and luxury apartments. Waterfront Promenade A 7 km long active waterfront promenade has been planned within the SEED area. This promenade will connect the various waterfront attractions. Amaravati Plaza Planned along the river Krishna waterfront the grand Amaravati public plaza marks the termination of the downtown axis.
Makoko can become a major movie location for film tourism like Venice and the Canals of Amsterdam.

Photo Credit: Heinrich Böll Stiftung Nigeria Makoko-Iwaya Waterfront Economic Opportunities.

The location of Makoko in the environs of #Yabacon Valley of Africa's fastest growing technology ecosystem will increase the mileage and patronage of Makoko waterfront tourism.

~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima,

"LAGOS in MOTION: A Photo Album of Africa's Largest Megacity" (Volume 1) Click here to order from Amazon. Click here to order from Barnes & Noble.


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