Benin buzzing with anticipation ahead of maiden int’l arts festival

The small West African country is coming alive ahead of the first edition of the Benin International Arts Festival (FinAB)…

The small West African country is coming alive ahead of the first edition of the Benin International Arts Festival (FinAB) which will highlight big names in the African cultural industry.Under the patronage of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Arts (MTCA), the FInAB will bring together, from February 14 to 19, a hundred artists from 20 different countries to offer a unique experience to the 10,000 expected visitors.


For this first edition, which will welcome Morocco as a guest country, three cities – Cotonou, Porto Novo and Ouidah – will simultaneously transform into a giant gallery and podium for six days, with parades, photo workshops, conferences, concerts, live performances and an open-air art market.


Under the theme “Cultural diversity, a lever of attraction and influence for the countries of the South,” this festival aims to promote the art and culture of Benin and Africa to an international audience and to highlight the talents of the region.


“As promoter of the Benin International Arts Festival, I am delighted to see our vision of uniting African artistic talent on the stage of this prestigious event come to fruition,” said Ulrich Adjovi, CEO of the Empire Group.

 “With only a few days to go before the opening of the Festival, I feel immense pride in the hard work and determination that has gone into making it happen. We look forward to seeing artists express themselves freely and celebrate cultural diversity through unique and inspiring performances,” he added.

 Thus, the Fidjrosse beach in Cotonou will be the site of an imposing 10,000m² art market, called Tokp’art, in reference to the Dantokpa market in Cotonou, the largest in West Africa. 

The latter will not only bring together the works of a multitude of artists, but will also house Benin’s culinary arts.

 In the Haie-Vive, an upmarket district of Cotonou, a special section is devoted to the plastic arts and to vernissages. 

There will also be the creation of the Rue des Arts, the transformation of a city street into a vibrant art district with a strolling, performance and street exhibition.

 “We are proud to host this prestigious event and thank the promoters for their important contribution to our desire to position Benin as an essential cultural destination. I am looking forward to welcoming in our beautiful country, Benin, these great names in arts and culture,” said Jean-Michel Abimbola, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Arts who has been accompanying FInAB for the last three months.

 This first edition of FInAB will highlight the talent of big names in the African cultural industry every day. 

The highlights of the festival will be the new Alphadi exhibition, the conferences and debates on plastic arts led by Ludovic Fadairo, Barthelemy Toguo and Ousseynou Wade, the one on fashion led by Lolo Andoche Alphadi or the one on music led by Franck Kacou from Universal Music Africa.

 The openings and exhibitions will undoubtedly be the most anticipated moments: between those of Tibari Kantour, Siriki Ky, Viyé Diba, Abdoulaye Konate Charly d’almeida and Warren Sare, art aficionados will be served. 

FInAB also aims to be a place of learning and knowledge sharing, and photography lovers will be able to attend the various masterclasses of the famous Beninese photographer Stephane Boss’art, while music lovers will have the opportunity to take part in the masterclasses of the multi-instrumentalist Jah Baba.

 Finally, each day will close with musical discovery stages with beautiful talents from the four corners of the continent. 

Guy Codjia, representative of Corsair in Benin, official carrier of FinAB, commented: “The Benin International Arts Festival is a unique opportunity to promote the country as an attractive tourist destination. As an airline, we are proud to play a key role in enhancing this industry by providing easy access to this cultural jewel for visitors from all over the world.” 


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