The Secretary General of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), Mr Georges Chikoti, has described Nigeria as a Cultural Superpower.
Chikoti said this as the Special Guest of Honour at the Nigeria Arts and Culture Festival, organised by the Embassy of Nigeria in Brussels, in collaboration with Nigerian community/associations in Belgium, and the Nigeria Tourism Development Authority (NTDA).
He said that Nigeria has left a footprint on the global space regarding the cinema industry (Nollywood) which provides a glimpse of the Nigerian culture to the world.
“Nigeria has promoted its culture through great writers like the Noble prize winner Wole Soyinka, the short story writer and novelist, Chimamanda Adichie, who has allowed both young and old generations to understand the Nigerian and African culture.
“It is also home to exceptional painters, musician’s stylists and designers, to name only but a few,” he said.
He commended the Embassy and others who put the Arts and Culture Festival together, adding that the event is a testimony of Nigeria’s commitment and determination to bring your culture to the world.
“As the Secretary-General of an organization that brings together 79 Member States across more than three continents, I am particularly pleased to be part of showcasing the cultural diversity of one of our eminent Member States.
“Cultural exchanges remain critical for development as they provide an opportunity to reach out to all the communities like many of those represented here today.
“These exchanges allow people to gain a deeper understanding of oneself and those around them, deepen knowledge of foreign cultures and strengthen international relationships.”
Chikoti said the event with the theme ‘Unity 2023’, will promote the importance of working closely together and promoting cultural exchanges for a better world.
“The mandate of OACPS is to support the cultural sector in guiding efforts to eradicate poverty and promote inclusive development that leaves no one behind.
“Today, the Nigeria arts and culture festival is making an extraordinary contribution to our efforts, and I’m looking forward to discovering the various events that will be presented to us today.
In his address, the Nigerian Ambassador to Belgium, Mr. Obinna Onowu, said the importance of art and culture in shaping the society cannot be overemphasized as Nigeria’s cultural heritage is not just a source of pride but a powerful tool for empowerment and growth.
“Our cultural heritage nurtures our sense of identity and belongings, while also providing economic opportunities, fostering tourism and creating spaces for innovation and entrepreneurship.
“Today is a reminder that while we embrace progress, we must never lose sight of our roots,” he added.
Onowu assured that the President Bola Tinubu’s administration is committed to boosting the tourism industry and encouraged Europeans and Africans to visit Nigeria and experience the country’s rich cultural heritage.
He commended Nigerians in the Arts and Entertainment world who have put Nigeria on the world map, adding that they have brought honour to Nigeria.
“Nigeria’s Nollywood is one of the biggest film industries in the world that is worth more than US$6.4 billion.
Also speaking at the event, Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah said the event provided a platform for Nigerian artists to showcase their talent and for the audience to experience the beauty and diversity of Nigerian arts.
Ubah, who is representing Anambra South Senatorial District at the Red Chamber, added that the event is a testament to the strong cultural ties between Nigeria and Belgium.
“Our culture is our heritage and we shall always engage in quality partnerships that will strengthen it,” he said. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Source: News Agency of Nigeria