By Ochiaka Ugwu
The University of Bradford in United Kingdom (UK) in collaboration with Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) is addressing the challenges of diversity mismanagement in Africa through the promotion of education at all levels.
In a press statement released Tuesday in Abuja and signed by Head of Media of IPCR, Mr. Musa Mato, it noted that a Professor of Diversity in University of Bradford, Uduak Archibong made this known in Abuja on Wednesday 11 September, 2019 while speaking at the conference on “Peace, Diversity and Education” with the theme: “Achieving sustainable peace through diversity management and peace education in Africa.”
According to the statement, “Vice Chancellor of the University of Bradford, Prof. Brian Cantor, noted that education is the key to address many challenges facing the countries of Africa, especially Nigeria, saying that Nigeria is rich in diversity, which should be a massive source of strength for nation-building and sustainable peacebuilding”.
He explained though the continent of Africa has continued to grapple with numerous challenges associated with diversity mismanagement; however education is a veritable tool for peace, security and development.
Also speaking, the Director-General of the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution, Dr. Bakut T. Bakut explained that the conference is structured around critical issues of security and strategic interest not only for Nigeria but for Africa in general.
Bakut said it would also afford critical stakeholders the opportunity to review and reassess pathways for constructive management of the continent’s rich diversity.
The objectives of conference, according to Dr. Bakut Bakut include “highlighting and examining the impact of diversity mismanagement to the peace, security and development of Africa.
Dr. Bakut, noted that the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, has continued to build bridges that would strengthen and foster internal cohesion within Nigeria and indeed across Africa through policies and programmes such as the Nigeria’s Technical Aid Corp (TAC) aimed at assisting other sister African countries with specialized manpower.
“Some of the Nigerians that were deployed to these locations have married our African brothers and sisters. Similarly, the National Youth Service Scheme of the Federal Government has been strengthened under the current administration in order to encourage national cohesion, integration and unity,” he said.
Notable scholars such as Owen Green, Professor of International Security and Engobo Emeseh, Professor of Law at University of Bradford delivered papers at the conference.
The key speaker at the conference, Prof. Dakas C.J Dakas, said that diversity is something that could be celebrated; however, he said it could be a conflict trigger if it is not properly managed or when it is manipulated.
The best ways to manage diversity will be to give more attention to education and to diversify the economy so as to create employment for the teeming youth population in Africa.
“Education has the power to liberate and make people less susceptible to manipulation”, he said.