Executive SecretaryCEO,NICO, Otunba Biodun Ajiboye,
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Nigeria joins the global community in celebrating World Culture Day, underscoring the importance of cultural values for national development amidst the growing influence of digital technology.

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The Executive Secretary and CEO of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Otunba Biodun Ajiboye, stressed the need to integrate culture into Nigeria’s developmental agenda as the country marks the 2024 World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.

Ajiboye highlighted that this observance serves as a crucial platform to emphasize the value and potential of culture. He noted that promoting cultural diversity is essential for fostering peaceful coexistence platforms and sustainable development in a nation renowned for its ethnic and religious plurality.

While technology plays an integral role in promoting cross-cultural communication and overcoming language and cultural barriers, it also has the potential to erode traditional values that have positively held societies together. The internet and telecommunications technologies facilitate easy connections and the sharing of traditions, languages, arts, education, and religions across cultures.

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A Researchgate report emphasizing the importance of developing applications and that promote fair and respectful cultural exchange, acknowledged that digital technology can be a powerful tool for constructive intercultural dialogue, increasing knowledge of other cultures, and fostering deeper understanding.

However, some experts argue that technology has contributed to the erosion of traditional values. Ajiboye attributed Nigeria’s current social challenges to the neglect of these cultural values. He stressed the importance of campaigning for the “return of our cultural values,” particularly among the younger generation, ensuring these values deeply influence their behavior.

He emphasized that recognizing the importance of intercultural interaction, diversity, and inclusion as key to societal peace is vital for achieving sustainable development and peaceful coexistence.

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World Culture Day, officially known as the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, is celebrated annually on May 21st. This day was declared by the United Nations General Assembly by Resolution 57/249 in 2002, following the adoption of the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity by UNESCO’s General Conference in 2001.

This declaration recognizes cultural diversity as a critical factor in global economic growth and a means to achieve a more satisfying intellectual, emotional, moral, and spiritual existence for people worldwide.

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