Osogbo Culture Centre takes campaign on globalisation to Brazil
GLOBALIZATION, a United Nation’s agenda designed to build classless society in an increasingly inter-dependent world comes under focus at a conference being planned to hold in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, from November 15 to 18, 2015. To be held under the auspices of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and the Institute for African Culture and International Understanding (IACIU) domiciled in Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, the conference is being organized by the Centre for Black Culture and International Understanding (CBCIU), Osogbo and its affiliate based in Philadelphia, United States.
The objective of the conference according to Chairman, Planning Committee, Prof. Michael Omolewa, is to examine the impact of Globalization with a view to suggest practical ways of forging a new global agenda, that would be inspired “by contemporary requirements of advancing development in all parts of the world, through the reduction of prevailing inequalities and the digital divide.” The theme of the conference, Globalization and Its Effects: Charting a True Path for the Development of the Black Race, Prof. Omolewa explains, “conforms to the objectives of UNESCO, concerning the observance of ‘The Decade of People of African Descent’ – 2015-2024, and also aligns with UNESCO’s belief in, and sponsorship of intellectual exchange and dialogue among cultures as the best prospects for peace and development.” The great historian who had also served as Nigeria’s Permanent Ambassador to UNESCO and President of 32nd General Conference of UNESCO said that the event “is not about race,” so, there is no restriction of attendance.
He expressed optimism that the conference will contribute to discussions on the implementation of the global agenda of promoting peace and international understanding, as a precursor to advancing development in all parts of the world, particularly those dealing with the Black race.
This is in addition to contributing to steps directed at eradicating all forms of intolerance. The choice of Brazil as host country, Omolewa noted, is in appreciation of the country’s close affinity with the Black race, “and as a mark of honour for a great Brazilian and civil rights activist, late Dr. Abdias de Nascimento.” Meanwhile, the organizers, in a statement, welcome “well-meaning individuals and organizations to partner with us to examine Globalization and its benefits to Africa and African Diaspora, and also other parts of the world, by measuring the levels of the integration of our societies, in a world that is becoming increasingly irretrievably globalized.’’ The statement reads further, “Inequality poses a great danger to mankind. According to a UNDP Report, the richest one per cent of the world population now owns about 40 per cent of the world’s assets, while the bottom half owns not more than one percent!” The Report further states that: “Confronting inequality in developing countries shows that if left unchecked, poor science and technological development can undermine the very foundations of development.
Globalization is widely regarded as a fiery topic. In his valedictory address at the conclusion of his duty tour as the United Nations, former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan identified four factors that could promote globalization. According to him, ‘’First, we are all responsible for each other’s security. ‘’Second, we can and must give everyone the chance to benefit from global prosperity. Third, both security and prosperity depend on human rights and the rule of law. Fourth, States must be accountable to each other, and to a broad range of non-state actors, in their international conduct.
How have all these issues affected Africa and its Diaspora? Former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo has also asserted that ‘’Globalization has meant prosperity for the developed or industrialized nations. ‘’In Africa, globalization conjures a lot of negative images and we remain its victims with no positive results in sight. What we are witnessing are its brutal, exploitative, insensitive, biased, and negative effects.’’ Chief Obasanjo asserts that ‘’This is due mostly to its undemocratic, non-consultative, and non-transparent origins, structures, and patterns of engagement. ‘’Globalization operates as if the developing nations are not important and it is doing very little to explore the stereotype about Africa in particular.”
Former President Bill Clinton has added his voice by stating that ‘’The modern world is too unequal in incomes and access to jobs, health and education; and the world is too unstable as evidenced by the rapid spreading of the financial crisis, economic insecurity, political upheavals, and our shared vulnerability to terrorism. ‘’In particular, the whole world must be more united than ever, in attempts to combat security breaches that have in recent times assumed a very dangerous dimension.’’
Already, invitations have been extended to all regions of the world, and dignitaries that have been invited to the occasion include Brazilian President, Mrs, Dilma Rousseff; a Co-Chairman of World Ex-Presidents’ Council, Nigeria’s former President Olusegun Obasanjo; Heads of Government; heads of United Nations specialized agencies, intellectuals, cultural experts, regional and multilateral institutions, and Mr. Bill Gates, who is doing much to close the gap between the rich and the poor through philanthropy.
The conference is a follow up to the first edition of the global conference of black nationalities held in Osogbo in 2010. It is being designed as an open constructive dialogue about inequalities, undemocratic, non-consultative, and non-transparent origins, structures, and patterns of engagement in the implementation of the agenda of Globalization and how best to ensure that the agenda profits all part of the world.
It will take a critical look at the positive potentials of open discussions on globalization and its effects as a means of evaluating the success of the programme, as embraced by the whole world. In particular, the conference would gauge the influence of globalization on the Black race and the forum would afford the participants the opportunity of identifying and mobilizing towards a common agenda of elevating the Black Race and Black Diaspora.