A king and his court pose in the Pirelli Calendar, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, king of the Ashanti empire in West Africa in Prince Gyasi's shots tells the story of the Ghanaian visual artist's roots, pride in his origins, the sense of community but also of a future to be built made up of inclusion, multiculturalism and economic relationships to be weaved.
"Ghana is the gateway to Africa where you can find everything: cocoa, gold, bauxite, oil... I wanted to bring Pirelli there to introduce a new way through a Calendar that will remain forever, perhaps creating new possibilities for development", almost a 'restitution' for those who began working in the markets of Accra and now exhibit in Paris and New York. Pirelli, which uses art to bring a deep dive into local society with the Calendar and all its initiatives, from the Hangar to the Foundation, liked the project; and the king also liked it, as he has "the ambition to create a stronger and more lasting relationship, which will have an impact on Ghana's fortunes, including its economic fortunes", explains Baafuor spokesman Agyei Fosu II, and invites Pirelli to a possible collaboration that could include the Ashanti investment grant.
Photo story The Cal 2024, between the African diaspora and black pride
Pirelli "has invested in Saudi Arabia, and this collaboration can also be important for development in the West African corridor," the king's spokesman said, hinting at preliminary contacts with the Italian group.
"It's natural for us to follow market developments, but there is no particular project," said Pirelli's executive vice-president Marco Tronchetti Provera, who at the end of October announced a joint venture with the Saudi fund PIF and an investment of $550 million to build a plant in Kaec, north of Jeddah. "We are at a time when it is clear that the future binds us to Africa, a young continent that is growing - in a few decades it will have 2.5 billion inhabitants - not looking at Africa trying to build something together would be wrong. Everything happens in stages, Africa today is not yet a market where the automotive industry has grown but will grow and we - who already have a distribution network - will be there: If one looks to the future, Africa is a priority".
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