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UNESCO urges cultural entrepreneurship education to empower young Africans

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In a bid to bolster economic growth and enrich the cultural industry, the UNESCO Institute for African Culture and International Understanding (IACIU) has advocated for cultural entrepreneurship education among young Africans.

The call was made during a workshop organized for young entrepreneurs by the institute, held at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) in Abeokuta, Ogun State, as disclosed by Professor Peter Okebukola, the Director of the institute and former Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC).

The workshop, themed “Entrepreneurship Education on the Protection and Promotion of Cultural Goods for Young Creative Artists,” aimed to equip young creative artists with entrepreneurial skills, enabling them to enhance their creative output through digital platforms.

Professor Okebukola emphasized the importance of nurturing these entrepreneurial talents to cultivate cultural ambassadors capable of continually creating and promoting cultural assets, both locally and globally.

Highlighting the significance of cultural awareness at various levels, Okebukola stressed the need to bring young Africans together to explore diverse cultural expressions and raise awareness about their value.

He remarked, “This training equips artists with the entrepreneurial skills needed to effectively promote their creative works through the digital realm. It creates a cadre of cultural ambassadors who will not only produce cultural assets but also promote them, both locally and globally, using the digital platform.”

Moreover, Okebukola underscored that cultural goods and services convey more than mere commodities; they embody cultural identity, values, and meaning.

Recognizing the pivotal role of innovation in driving competitiveness, economic growth, and social transformation, he emphasized the importance of empowering young artists to preserve cultural treasures and foster creativity from these cultural assets.

The workshop’s convener and programme officer at the institute, Omotayo Ifesewa Shittu, urged participants to embrace their role as cultural ambassadors and actively protect and promote African culture.

The event signals a concerted effort by UNESCO to support and empower the next generation of African entrepreneurs, fostering a vibrant cultural landscape and contributing to economic development on the continent.

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