Abuja, Sept. 21, 2023 ( NAN) Prof Joseph Golwa, former Director- General, Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR), has called for the deepening of cultural diplomacy between China and Nigeria through the exchange of cultural programmes.
Golwa made this call at the 4th Entertainment and Peace Summit in Abuja on Thursday , which had the theme “Building Harmony Through Entertainment and Cultural Diplomacy.”
According to him, cultural diplomacy helps in promoting dialogue, building bridges and nurturing relationships between nations, adding that it is a powerful tool that connects the richness and diversity of nations.
Golwa said, “Through the use of cultural diplomacy, we can create a platform that celebrates our cultural diversity, peace, harmony, unity, music and dance.
“One of the examples of cultural diplomacy is Nigerian music and Nollywood movies that are going global. Entertainment in various forms has the power to connect people on a deep emotional level, inspire and educate people.
“It is not the responsibility of musicians and celebrities to promote peace and harmony but a collective responsibility,” he said.
Golwa noted that cultural diplomacy was a function of peace and harmony, adding that everyone had a responsibility in building peace and harmony, and by implication, encouraging cultural diplomacy for the betterment of mankind.
“We must work hand in hand to promote peace and harmony on whatever level, be it in our communities, offices, homes and also make the right choice of making peace.
“Peace has to be a deliberate action for it to be experienced and we must therefore advocate for peace in all spheres of life.
“Peace is cheaper than engaging in conflicts and conflict prevention is also cheaper than managing conflicts,” Golwa added.
Also speaking, Mr Li Xuda, Director, China Cultural Centre in Nigeria, called for peaceful coexistence among different ethnic groups in the country to achieve the goal of cultural harmony and diplomacy.
He said that in Chinese traditional culture, people upheld the concept of harmony and generally accepted that harmony was the most important traditional value that facilitated personal growth, social progress and the country’s development.
According to Xuda, China and Nigeria both possess abundant and vast natural resources, which facilitates and encourages the promotion of cultural diplomacy between them.
“At the level of nation and culture, we advocate unity and concordance and do hope to achieve the goal of harmony in diversity.
“There are 56 ethnic groups in China and 250 ethnic groups in Nigeria and the ethnic groups yearn for harmony, cultural fusion and promotion of unity.
“Concordance between nation and culture is the real value of performing Nigeria-China Symphony,” he said.
Also, Dr John Apiada, Managing Director, Upland Realtors, said that embracing peace was sacrosanct in the celebration of culture and entertainment.
He said that the dividends of democracy could only be enjoyed if peace existed, while the nation’s beauty lay in its diversity, culture and intertwined languages.
“Our beauty is in our diversity; our cultures and languages are intertwined, so we should not allow anyone to sell us the idea that we are divided.
“We should not only export oil but we should export our culture, music, dance and entertainment globally.
“I am neither Fulani or Igbo but a Nigerian. We should enjoy the peace we have and also join hands and see the beauty in our diversity not in our division,” he advised.
In his submission, Mr Nsikan Paul, Executive Director, Drum Majors For Peace, said that peacebuilding was a crucial task that could not be shouldered by one group alone, adding that it had to be a collective responsibility.
He said that entertainers and creative artists had the ability to engage audiences through their talents, which, he described, as a channel to foster peace and inspire positive change.
“Entertainment industry has the potential to use its creativity in advocating for peace and connecting people from different walks of life,” he said.
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