The Cultural Diplomacy Day for Peace will now be marked globally on November 24 every year courtesy National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC).
The Director-General of NCAC, Otunba Segun Runsewe made this known at the grand closing of the 11th International Arts and Crafts(INAC) Exposition held in Abuja last week.
According to Runsewe, the launch of the International Cultural Diplomacy for Peace initiative is aimed at uniting the world via culture, arts and crafts.
Speaking at the closing ceremony, the Minister of Science and Technology and Chairman of the occasion, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu said, “Today, we are using culture to build peace in the world, we are using what is common to humanity, we are using our arts and crafts to bind ourselves together, to build the bridges that can unite all humanity, because no matter which country or continent we come from, we are all humans and we all have the image of God in us.”
He affirmed further that, “Culture can give us freedom and we had representatives of 27 countries from 4 continents of the world all saying that this message is one that will go not just from Nigeria to Africa, but from Nigeria to the world, and let it be known that Nigeria is the home of peace and culture and that all those who seek the best in the world should come to us.”
“Our great host is opening a new window through which the rest of the world would see the best in Nigeria.” He added.
Ogbonnaya expressed hopes that the annual event would continue in order to sustain the message of peace through culture, arts and crafts.
On his part, Runsewe stated that the launch of the International Cultural Diplomacy Day for Peace was an opportunity to demonstrate that Nigeria, Africa and the world loves peace.
In his words, “Nigeria has taken a lead by launching, for the first time in the history of the world, the International Cultural Diplomacy Day for Peace.”
Several countries, states and organisations went home with prizes for their performance in various categories at the INAC Expo.
Overall Best Exhibitor of the year, first position went to Ogun state, second position went to Kano state and third position went to Kaduna State.
India and Bangladesh emerged countries with the Best Designed Pavilions with two states in Nigeria-Kano and Ogun along with an NGO; Le Look Nigeria limited.
Best product designs; Leather works went to Kano, Katsina and Jigawa; Textiles-Ogun and Kano; Brass-Kano and Kaduna; Metal works-Kano; Woodworks-Ogun and Bauchi; Calabash Decoration-Gombe and Kano; Ornaments, Beads and Jewelry-Ogun and Gombe; Pottery and Ceramics-FCT and Katsina; Raffia, Straw and Cane-Katsina, Gombe and Zamfara; Fibre and Glass-Anambra.
The overall best product Design went to Kano; Best participating Countries went to China, Trinidad and Tobago; Best participating Govt agencies and corporate bodies went to Nigerian Social Insurance Trust fund, NTA, and AIT.
INAC 2018 special award for special days went to China, India, Bangladesh and Ogun State; Best participating NGO went to Arolokaso Art and Crafts and Aanang Festival of Arts and Culture.
Also, New invention award, Waste to wealth went to Hungary; Most innovative products packaging went to; Iran, Korea and Syria; Most enterprising Exhibitors; Mexico, Le Look, Tanzania.
Best Country presentation went to Sudan and Burkina Faso; Best Country in e-marketing went to China, Pakistan while Best networking strategy was awarded to Bangladesh and India.
The weeklong event with the theme, “Networking Nigerian Crafts to the World”, attracted participants from at least 27 countries from four continents all exhibiting and showcasing their rich cultural heritage to Nigerians and the world.