To promote and protect the diversity of cultural expressions in Africa, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), through its Institute for African Culture and International Understanding, has trained 100 students in Ogun State to embrace and protect African culture in digital. environment.
The director of the Institute, Professor Peter Okebukola of the program hosted at the Federal College of Education, Osiele, Abeokuta, said the continued disappearance of cultural expression is innate in the contemporary world; hence the need for the program.
Okebukola, who was represented by the institute’s Senior Program Advisor, Adebola Labiran, emphasized the need to promote, protect and preserve African culture, especially in the era of digitalization.
The Emeritus Professor who spoke on the topic; “Embracing the Tools of Indigenous Cultural Expression in the Digital Environment,” said the program aims to promote and provide access to regional markets for cultural goods and services produced by indigenous peoples in Africa.
He noted that the world is rapidly changing technologically, therefore, African culture must spread across the world.
While culture remains a key driver of economic growth in all countries, Okebukola said digital technology has formed a new ecosystem of cultural expression, a meeting place for creators and audiences.
“As Indigenous communities struggle to maintain their traditional knowledge and practices, many are turning to information and communication technologies (ICTs) to nurture and inspire their Indigenous knowledge practices.
“There is a need to provide access to the regional market for cultural goods and services produced by indigenous peoples of Africa, as well as to establish a network of public and private institutions to provide training, access to funding and access to market to local cultural businesses in the digital environment.
“We must promote African culture to protect and preserve it. This is what Unesco tries to do, in ancient times it was difficult to see people committing suicide because there were rules that guided each individual and each people,” he added.
Additionally, the Dean of Science, Federal College of Education
Abeokuta, Dr. Biyi Popoola, stressed that training was the need of the hour, noting that African culture was already on the verge of extinction.
She urged the federal government to include training in the curriculum, especially in the aspect of general study at all levels of institutions of higher education, be it universities, schools polytechnics or colleges of education.
“I will urge the federal government to incorporate this program into the curriculum of higher education institutions so that it can be among the things they need to learn, especially in the area of general studies,” said she declared.