In line with UNESCO’s belief in and sponsorship of intellectual exchange and dialogue among cultures as the best prospects for peace, the 1st Global Conference of Black Nationalities is a clarion call for global peace and international understanding of the Black Race, through Culture and Heritage. Therefore, the conference was an invitation to the participants - black intelligentsia, non-black academics, as well as, the global vanguard of culture to “Come BACK HOME”
to re-examine the PAST, evaluate the PRESENT and strategically look into the FUTURE of a RICH HERITAGE - the Black Heritage.
As a result, participants were exposed to and will had an equally fulfilling opportunity of knowing more about the black race while appreciating cultural differences among the various peoples of the world with a view to promoting global understanding.
The Conference of Black Nationalities was held a time that Africa, African descendants, black people from across the globe were being encouraged to achieve more and to take a grasp of their fate and future. The 1st Global Conference of Black Nationalities took a cultural and mutual understanding perspective to help accomplish its major objective through inter-cultural and religious dialogues. The Conference reinforced UNESCO’s role and efforts to promote and encourage reciprocal knowledge of culture, ethnicity, language and religion as a means for sustainable development and the proffering of plausible solutions.
MODALITIES: The 1st Global Conference of Black Nationalities took a critical look at the positive potentials of open discussions to understand the culture and heritage of Africa as a means to understanding and embracing the Black Race. It is aimed at promoting a dialogue on the African Diaspora: Identification and Mobilization towards a common agenda of elevating the Black Race and Africa. By so doing, it will serve as a major contribution to UNESCO’s events and programmes for 2010 and beyond, as they impact the Black Race/Africa, particularly:
• The celebration of the United Nations International Year for Rapprochement of Cultures - 2010, the objectives of which are similar to those of the Conference.
• UNESCO’s International Day for the Abolition of Slavery. By starting the Conference on August 23rd, 2010 with its attendant opening ceremonies/speeches, the conference contributed to the objectives of the annual international day fixed for August 23rd.
• It enlightened the world about the Osun-Osogbo Festival – a UNESCO classified World Heritage site - and its cultural ceremonies as a tourist attraction. Participants at the conference had a first hand experience as they participated in the year 2010 edition of the festival.
AREAS OF DISCUSSIONS:
• Governance and Leadership.
• The Leadership Role of Black Women in the society
• Tourism Development: Cultural Tourism and Ecological Tourism.
• Slavery: History, Challenges, Opportunities and the Future.
• The history and impact and influence of Black Culture in modern societies
• The African Diaspora: Identification and Mobilization towards a common agenda.
• Sustainable Development
OTHER KEY EVENTS INCLUDED:
• Access to and/or Participation in the annual Osun-Osogbo Festival
• Access to and/or Participation in an Exhibition of Black Arts and Culture from across the globe
• Performances by different Black/African performers and cultural troupes, including film shows
• Visits to different ancient monuments in Ile-Ife, as well as, visits to historic and sacred groves/monuments that make Osun State the cradle of the Black Race
• Interactions and Press access to representatives of the African Traditional Institutions.
• Interaction with visiting dignitaries from several nations and corporate leaders for investment and economic development.
• Tours of other tourist attractions in adjoining locations to Osun State
• Special reception by His Imperial Majesty, Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade (the Spiritual Head of the Yoruba Race) at the Royal Palace.
OUTCOMES AND CONTRIBUTION:
The outcomes and contributions of the Conference include the following:
• Contribute to the global soul-searching given globalization and the “new” expectations of the Black Race for more prominent contributions.
• Development of a database of participants and resources to be shared and used to galvanize and stimulate peace through collaboration, networking and resource sharing
• Encourage efforts towards the re-evaluation of the heritage of the black race
• Stimulate actions towards the reduction of the digital divide that impacts the black race
• Development of a Youth Agenda for the preservation of a Rich Heritage
• Development of a Women Agenda for Leadership, Governance and Sustainability
• Development of Africa’s Tourism Sector: Attraction of foreign participants for Economic and Infrastructure development and implementation
RESULTS, FOLLOW-UP STRATEGIES AND SUSTAINABILITY:
The conference discussed modalities for effecting changes in perception of African culture by associating its positive influence with home grown development. It also inspired a renewed consciousness for Africans and Africans in the Diaspora to seize opportunities in their cultural endowments for development. To arrive at these, the organizers are following up on outcomes by:
• Arranging for sustaining the Conference to continually evoke intellectual discussions and themes around the subject among nations. This would develop Culture-Tourism in Osun State and eventually in Africa and continue to nourish a socio-economic agenda to elevate the Black Race and Africa.
• Partnership and technical assistance are being sought from UNESCO to engage and consult with government on applicability; as well as global Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) towards the sustainability of its contributions to the conference and other activities of CBCIU
• Creation of an interactive web-site (with blog), based on the conference outcomes, to encourage communications amongst alumni.