The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) through its Institute for African Culture and International Understanding has trained hundreds of students in Ogun state to embrace and protect African culture in the digital environment.
The Director of the institute, Prof. Peter Okebukola, speaking at the programme, held at the Federal College of Education, Osiele, Abeokuta, the state capital yesterday, explained that continuing disappearance of cultural expression is innate in the contemporary world, hence, the need for the programme.
To this end, Okebukola who was represented by the institute’s Senior Programme Advisor, Adebola Labiran insisted that the need to promote, protect and preserve African culture is very pertinent, particularly in the era of digitisation.
The professor emeritus who spoke on the theme; ‘Embracing Indigenous Cultural Expression Tools In The Digital Environment,’ stressed that the programme was aimed at promoting and giving access to regional markets for cultural goods and services produced by indigenous people of Africa.
He noted that the world is fast moving technologically, therefore, African culture needs to develop more spread across the globe.
As culture remains a key driver of economic growth across countries, Okebukola explained that digital technology has formed a new ecosystem of cultural expression, a meeting place for creators and the public.
His words “As indigenous communities struggle to maintain their traditional knowledge, practices, several are turning to information and communications technologies (ICTs) to nurture and inspire their indigenous knowledge practices.
“There is a need to give access to the regional market for cultural goods and services produced by indigenous people of Africa, as well as establishing a network of public and private institutions to provide training, access to financing and market access for local cultural enterprises in the digital environment.
“We have to promote African culture to protect and preserve it. That is what Unesco is trying to do, in the olden days you hardly find people killing themselves because there were some rules that guide every individual and people”, he added.
Also, the Dean of Science, Federal College of Education Abeokuta, Dr Biyi Popooola underscored that the training was the need of the hour, noting that the African culture already was going into extinction.
She urged the federal government to include the training into the curriculum, especially in the aspect of general study at all levels of Tertiary institutions be it universities, Polytechnic or colleges of education.
Her words “I will urge the federal government to inculcate this program into the Tertiary institution’s curriculum so it can be part of the things they need to learn, especially in the area of general studies(GNS)