MOWAA’s vision is to create
a self-sustaining ecosystem in West Africa for heritage, craftsmanship, and contemporary arts.
We do this by providing;
for learning, career building & exchange
for collecting, researching,
a workspace for artists, artisans
Born from a movement to reclaim ownership of the narrative of West Africa’s rich heritage and spark a modern-day cultural renaissance, EMOWAA Trust is embarking on an endeavor to create a world-class arts, culture, and heritage complex to celebrate, research, and conserve West African art from antiquity to the modern day.
Emboldened with this charge
and powered by diverse partnerships, we will;
Foster contemporary West African and African-inspired art and culture by supporting contemporary artists and artisans with in-situ and satellite infrastructure, thus providing a hub for arts education and the creative industries;
Provide access to infrastructure, technology and research capacity for art and cultural heritage, and sustainably attract the best creatives, thinkers and knowledge generators for its use.
Assemble and exhibit a cross-section of exemplary African art and objects, including the world’s most comprehensive collection of West African antiquities, displaying them in their historic and social contexts and deepening scholarly understanding and public appreciation of their place in global culture;
Inspire, and serve as a model for responsible heritage management with best practices in collection, conservation, restoration, and museum building globally.
The MOWAA Creative District
Rebuilding cultural and creative infrastructure
A dynamic neighbourhood set within the ancient Bini Kingdom walls with platforms for display, interaction and commerce, the Creative District will reclaim Benin City’s position as the cultural capital of West Africa -the nexus of heritage and reinvention.
The footprint of the MOWAA Creative District is the heart of the historic part of Benin City and is bounded by the ruins of the ancient empire’s earthen wall monuments. Set against wider conservation efforts, its regenerated neighbourhoods will highlight the sophisticated past of this 1000-year city and host a thriving community of scholars and artists-in-residence, serviced by exhibition, performance and production spaces.
Research, Storage & Knowledge Facilities
which will cater to scholars, students and professionals in heritage, material and environmental sciences
Display & Exhibition Space
made up of a mix of indoor and outdoor platforms, with
year-round programme and events
Residence & Accomodation
providing affordable short stay and housing to support the
visiting academics, creatives working in the District and visitors
from outside Benin
Event & Retail Spaces
Rental space including offices, halls, restaurants, cafes and a premium arts market displaying the finest works from local artisans
Green & Open Spaces
in the form of sculpture parks, memorials and gardens, expanding shared spaces for visitors and local communities
Positioned within Benin City in Edo State, Nigeria, it is about a 30- minute flight/4 hour drive from Lagos and is one of Nigeria’s key transportation hubs. Edo State is striving to build Benin City as affordable, liveable city that is catered for cultural and digital industries and academia.
Responding to local realities and opportunities, MOWAA aims to achieve tangible, scalable impact in the form of jobs, tourist attractions, and magnified visibility for West Africa’s globally marketable brands and knowledge products