Culture key to peace, dialogue – says


Ms May Ikokwu, Chief Executive Officer, Save Our Heritage Initiative (SOHI), has said that culture is key to effective cooperation and sustenance of peace and promoting dialogue.

Ikokwu said this on Sunday in Abuja during an interview to commemorate on the occasion of the commemoration of World Cultural Diversity Day.

The theme for this year’s event is: Promote human rights and fundamental freedom,”

She said that lack of inter-cultural dialogue was responsible for about 89 per cent of all current conflicts in the world.

“That 89 per cent of conflicts occurring in countries with low intercultural dialogue, points to the fact that there is need to use culture to forge effective cooperation and sustain peace.

“The various communal clashes, hate speeches among different diatribes on social media, seen in recent years in Nigeria, are worrisome and can be mitigated by more intercultural dialogue”, she said.

According to her, UNESCO data shows that cultural and creative sector are some of the most powerful engines of peace and development.

She quoted UNESCO as saying that: “cultural and creative sector accounts for more than 48 million jobs globally.

Ikokwu said the cultural sector has potential to employ and provide opportunities for the largest number of young people.

“There is no reason for the high youth unemployment being experienced in Nigeria where there is huge opportunity for youth to be gainfully employed in this sector.

“This is an issue that must be addressed in order to boost the tourism business and thereby significantly diversifying the economy”, she said.

Ikokwu said there was the need to protect diversity of cultural expressions.

She explained that cultural diversity is a driving force of all aspects of development. not only with respect to economic growth.

May 21 annually is set aside by the UN for commemoration of World Cultural diversity.


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