Cross section of participants at the 3 Day international conference on cultural sustainability. Photo: Dauda Iliya
Experts in the security and cultural sector have converged on Maiduguri, Borno State capital for an international conference on promoting cultural sustainability.
The conference organised by Centre for the Study of Cultural Sustainability, University of Maiduguri, have participants drawn from different institutions across the country and other parts of the world.
The insecurity in the Northeast region and the Lake Chad area has not only impacted on the socio-economic and political institutions but also cultural and linguistic identity, leading to mass displacement of people and migration across boundaries thereby eroding peoples cherished cultural values.
This informed the international conference, which is second in the series, convened by the Centre for the Promotion of Cultural Sustainability University of Maiduguri on how best to find innovative ways of sustaining the cultural heritage for peace and development.
In their lead presentations, former Vice Chancellor Federal University Gashua, Yobe State Prof Andrew Haruna and Dean Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Nigerian Defence Academy Kaduna, Prof Usman Tar observed that climate change, urbanisation, globalisation and population growth are major drivers of conflict in the North-east and the Lake Chad Basin.
They called on government at different levels to accord priority to food security, participatory governance and sustainable development to address these challenges.
Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum represented by the Commissioner for Home Affairs, Information and Culture, Alhaji Babakura Jatau promised to collaborate with the center to preserve the rich cultural heritage of the state for the benefit of humanity.
“There is high penetration of the International and intercultural cross fertilisation due to the emergence of the new media. This will have a lot of influence on our children and the only thing we can do to preserve ours and ensure that ours is not inferior to any culture, we need to have a centre like this to re-energise the cultural landscape of this nation.” Zulum stressed.
Vice Chancellor University of Maiduguri Prof Aliyu Shugaba assured that the institution will continue to promote cultural studies through research and innovation.
Director of the Centre Prof Saliba James remarked that the lingering insecurity in the entire West Africa sub region require innovative research to sustain the culture.
About 80 academic papers will be presented on various aspects of culture in West Africa during the conference themed, “Conflicts, Indigenous Institutions and Cultural Sustainability.
Reporting by Dauda Iliya; editing by Muzha Kucha