Prof. Emmanual Dandaura, Director, Institute of Strategic and Development Communication, Nasarawa State University, has advocated inter-cultural dialogue as solution to communal violence in African countries.
Dandaura gave the suggestion during an international zoom conference organised by the Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilisation (CBAAC) in collaboration with the University of Benin.
The conference had its theme as: “Sharing Black and African Creative Energy: Consolidating Africa’s Heritage and Identity in the 21st century”.
The don said that there was need to adopt inter-cultural dialogue as a tool to restore peace and deal with the problem of violence, banditry, insurgency ravaging most African countries.
He noted that Africa’s cultural diversity should be manipulated to the benefit of Africans rather than allowing such to further tear African nations apart.
He explained that science and technology aid development but great improvement would be seen when the process of development focused more on culture, as culture was the foundation for development and peace building.
“African leaders individually must engage in inter-cultural dialogue, an open exchange of views that would expose more understanding of different cultures to bring about peaceful co-existence.
“Inter-cultural dialogue enables mutual understanding of one another’s cultural diversities; there is need to build sustainable peace through culture restorative justice
“Diversity is an asset, we should not try to underplay our diversities; cultural diversity is part of our human reality, it triggers so many things in our human relationships.
“In the course of the inter-cultural dialogue there should be willingness to engage, see things from other people’s perspectives, acknowledge diversities and identify alternative to conflict resolution,” he said.
He urged the African leaders to invest hugely in arts and culture as strategic tools for proper socialisation, co-operation and development.
“I will suggest the building of inter-cultural competencies into school curricula, promoting regular cultural festivals, developing real and virtual spaces for networking to involve women and children,” he said.
Also, Prof Victor Dugga, Dean, Faculty of Arts, Federal University, Lafia, Nasarawa State, urged African leaders to assist practitioners in the creative industry in making their intellectual properties accessible globally.
Dugga said Africa had been a huge source material for creativity as artistes like late Micheal Jackson and James Brown got their dance styles from Africa and were well celebrated due to their dance.
He said this was possible because those dances were projected in Nigeria and Ethiopia digitally before they could gain access to them, adding that digital display of creative works must be encouraged by African governments.
He noted that Africans must build a formidable economic transaction through the digital platforms to improve on individual countries’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“African artists are suffering and the products and market are there but proper marketing through digital platforms must be encouraged.
“Africa literature should be purchased online just like we have other materials on Jumia stores and other online stores, we need to commercialise every product from the creative industry.
“Nollywood has been doing well with this on Netflix, Showmax and all but they must work on improving the quality of movies produced.
“United States has 40,000 movie theatres, India has 20,000, China has 13,000 but Africa has less than 1,000 and Nigeria with 52 cinema halls, this is not encouraging at all; we must upscale the creative industry to improve our GDP.
“Chinese and French cuisines are better known, we continue to grow Chinese food leaving ours; there is a large gap between what the artists can produce and how to market them,” he said.
Prof. Lupwishi Mbuyamba, Executive Director, Observatory for Cultural Policies in Africa (OCPA), Maputo, Mozambique, called for cultural renaissance across African continent.
“The objective of cultural renaissance campaign is to recall and underline the main values and assets of African civilisation, promote them continent-wide and abroad, consider a long term strategy for their recognition and their presence in the world.
“The method for such a campaign will be of inventory, collection, education and training, production and markets occupation’’, he said.
Edited By: Gregg Mmaduakolam/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)