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Guinea celebrates its Expo 2020 National Day with focus on investment and traditional cultural flair – ZAWYA

DUBAI – Guinea, known as ‘the water tower of West Africa’, celebrated its National Day at Expo 2020 Dubai on Sunday with a showcase of its natural resources and sustainable investment opportunities,  as well as a series of performances highlighting Guinean culture.
The Guinea Pavilion at the event underscores the crucial role it plays in water access for the entire region, thanks to its location as the source of the Senegal, Niger and Gambia rivers. Visitors are invited on a journey through the West African country’s history and heritage.
His Excellency Dr Morissanda Kouyate, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation, African Integration and Guineans Abroad was welcomed by Najeeb Mohammed Al-Ali, Executive Director Commissioner General’s Office, Expo 2020 Dubai for the National Day ceremony.
H E Dr Morissanda Kouyate said: “I would like to note that this is the very first time that my country has had an independent pavilion at a World Expo and that its realisation has materialised thanks to the valuable support of the Emirati authorities and the organisers of Expo 2020 Dubai.”
“The Guinea Pavilion is located in the Sustainability District of Expo Dubai, not far from that of the host country, and is titled ‘Draw from the source of West Africa’. Indeed, as our country is nicknamed ‘the Water Tower of West Africa’, formerly known as the ‘Rivers of the South’, water is the central element of our pavilion. …Through our presence at the Expo, we want to present the opportunities that Guinea has to offer to create new sustainable partnerships.”
Najeeb Al-Ali said: “Guinea’s participation is inspired by water, as one of its most precious resources. As such, the pavilion creates a necessary avenue for dialogue, co-creation, and innovation for tackling the water challenges that West Africa is seeking to overcome, while also promoting Guinea as a country that is rich in investment opportunities.
“We believe that Expo 2020 Dubai will provide our two countries with the opportunity to further strengthen our ties, enhance cooperation across the public and private sectors and explore the potential of enhanced collaborations in various fields of joint priority, such as renewable energy, infrastructure, agriculture, and tourism.”
Following the National Day ceremony, Guinea’s Ballet Djoliba troupe performed a traditional heritage dance – Mamaya – representing the savannah, at Al Wasl. Performers dressed in traditional blue and white Bakha outfits, sang and danced to the beats of the balafon, a type of xylophone, and percussion instruments.
Speakers at the Guinea Investment Forum, which runs until 14 February at Expo 2020 Dubai, underscored  opportunities across sectors such as agriculture, mining, tourism, hydroelectricity, and infrastructure. The panel also promoted the financial benefits and tax breaks Guinea offers to investors.
A performance of Wontanara, an original musical comedy created just for Expo 2020 Dubai that showcases the vibrant and unique Guinean culture through various arts including theatre, singing, music, traditional dances and circus acts, is scheduled for the evening from 2000 GST on the Jubilee Stage. Translated from Sussu, one of Guinea’s local languages, the name of the show means 'we are all together' and emphasises Expo’s aim of uniting the world in one place.
Later, singers Azaya and Djelykaba Bintou will introduce Expo visitors to the modern sounds and rhythms of Guinean music, including romantic ballads and energetic dance tunes.
National and Honour Days at Expo 2020 Dubai are moments to celebrate each of Expo 2020’s 200-plus International Participants, shining a light on their culture and achievements and showcasing their pavilions and programming.
Running until 31 March 2022, Expo 2020 has invited visitors from across the planet to join the making of a new world in a six-month celebration of human creativity, innovation, progress and culture.
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