By McPhilips Nwachukwu, in Salvador, Brazil
Salvador, Brazil—Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, has said regional affiliations to religion, race, gender and tribalism are the main impediments against the developmental efforts of the African continent.
The minister, who was represented by Mr Augustus Ajibola, in his address at the opening of the International Conference on Multiculturalism and the Prospect for Africa’s Development, holding at the State University of Bahia, Salvador, Brazil argued that “despite the advantages derivable from multicultural society, it is sad to note that people have been torn apart by cleavages such as ethnic loyalty, tribalism, religious intolerance, race and gender discrimination.”
In the same vein, Prof. of Political Economy and Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for Black African Arts and Civilisation,Tunde Babawale, also attributed the inability of Africa and the entire black race in solving its multifarious problems to religious differences and insolence.
He reasoned: “Many of the intractable problems of nation building and national development in Africa have often been linked to the inability of African States to accommodate and manage ethno-religious differences.”
African scholars at the conference contended that the united force being canvassed was buried in the continent’s multicultural values, which apart from respecting ethno pluralistic characters of the regions, go a long way in deepening progress and democratic values and norms.
The conference was organised by the Centre for Black African Art and Civilisation in collaboration with Pan African Strategic and Policy Research Group, PANAFSTRAG, Special Secretariat for the Promotion of Racial Equality, and Bahia State Council for Arts among other organisations.