A new Information and Communications Technology (ICT) creative hub, Alewa House digital hub, is in line to contribute to the growth of Nigeria’s digital economy.
Located in Jos, Plateau State, Alewa House hub is bringing technology to harness the vast potential of the cultural and creative industries in the country, starting with Jos.
Alewa, Hausa word for sweetness, is putting together devices, particularly digital tools, a networking arena for folks in the cultural and creative industries and the army of geeks to open endless opportunities in a creative economy.
When arts and culture meet technology, the possibilities are endless and the outcomes are unpredictably remarkable, said Chief Executive Officer, Alewa House, Mr. Daser Retnan, a Software Developer and co-Founder of the geo-location solutions tech startup, Logical Address.
“I’m passionate about building the capacity of young people. I’m one of the persons instrumental towards the development of the tech space in Jos and now diversifying to improving and supporting the creative industries that have long been neglected over the years building on the power of technology,” added Retnan.
There are more than 400 creative hubs worldwide and Jos just joined the list. As one published research notes: “Creative hubs are often spaces for experimentation, artistic expression, peer-to-peer learning and incubation of ideas. They act as convenors, facilitating the transfer of knowledge and the cross pollination of different sectors and areas of expertise. This often leads to the creation of new value in goods, services and artistic practices – what some might call innovation.”
Alewa House, according to Retnan, is focusing on talent discovery and outsourcing; creating an environment with skilled enthusiastic young people thereby preventing a capital flight; opening inter-communal dialogue through arts, innovations and technology. Ultimately, it promotes individuality, creativity, innovation and narration,” said Retnan in Jos as the hub prepares a formal unveiling of its space.
“The creative hub adopts a multi-stakeholder approach to arts promotions, management and talent nurturing because we believe that everyone has a role to play in the narration building process. It’s because of this that the house seeks to fulfill its mandate to become the go-to place for entertainment and reduce capital flight by 50 per cent before 2029.
“Plateau State is widely known for being a creative incubator for artistic talents in Nigeria for a long time. According to the Institute of African Intelligence, 26 per cent of successful utilisation of creative talents in Nigeria in the last 30 years are affiliated with Jos.
“We are currently embarking on a project that ensures coordination and cooperation between government and stakeholders in the creative industry to galvanise support for arts related initiatives in the state, and also develop collaborative partnerships with all practitioners across diverse fields to bolster the peacebuilding efforts of the country through arts,” he added.
The hub has successfully unraveled the creative talents of Mr. Emmanuel Adeyemi (aka Adehkings), an afropop artiste signed with Alewa House, whose music centres on societal growth. It will be signing more in the weeks ahead.
Alewa House has also developed a software application to help bring together industry actors for maximum productivity. The hub recently hosted an event that had over 12, 000 people in attendance last October signifying its massive acceptance. According to Retnan, much of that awareness was built around the technology of the new media. From point of ideation to downstream impact, technology drives everything including discovering artistic individuals and creating the values across the entire creative chain. It is currently working on staging the biggest music festival in Nigeria in 2020 inside the city of Jos.
Retnan believes the show will reflect everything that is viable when arts, culture and technology meet to impact values whether social or economical or even political within the framework of a digital economy.