By Fidelia Femi-Adedoyin
The Delta State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Lawrence Ejiofor has expressed the readiness of the State government to partner with the international community to showcase and explore the cultural heritage and natural resources of the State.
He made this assertion in his office during a courtesy call by delegates from the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture who are to embark on a tour of selected Local Government Areas in the State in line with the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Creative Cities Network Project.
The Commissioner explained to the delegates that Delta State is prepared for the international community as they make it a point of duty to support and project their heritage.
He gave a case study, of the akwa-ocha in the Ubulu-Uku community where he hails from, stating that support was given by the government to enable them get machines for production as opposed to the manual method for better productivity.
Ejiofor maintained that the administration has put structures in place to ensure that the State can thrive on other sectors aside from oil, siting the film village, Leisure Park, State secretariat and other legacy projects of the administration as a testimonial to that fact.
He assured the delegates from Abuja that the State Government has bought into the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) project and hopes for the best in terms of more international exposure and network, as well as a boost in commerce and industry.
The Director International Cultural Relations Abuja, Memunat Idu-Lah who led the delegation said that the idea of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network was birthed in 2004 to foster international cooperation within and across cities worldwide.
She said it is UNESCO’s way of keying into the UN’s 2030 agenda for sustainable development, explaining that the idea comes from a desire to have Cities actively cooperate at the international level through inter-city partnerships, using culture and creativity as a strategic lever.
Delighted, Idu-lah disclosed that for the first time, Nigeria received an invitation to send applications of proposed cities for consideration, with about 265 UNESCO Creative Cities already existing around the world.
Each of these cities are known for something peculiar ranging from craft and folk art to design, film, gastronomy (cuisine), literature, media and music.
The Director stated that “these communities would be assessed based on their level of organization, impact on the economy, the people and others.
Once admitted into the creative city group, they share experience, they hold international annual meetings where they discuss and some of those cities soon become creative hubs”.
She encouraged the government and the communities to buy into the project in other to give the necessary support to Communities that would be selected, stressing that it would be a great opportunity to key into the United Nations agenda for sustainable development.