By Deborah Oladejo, Osogbo
The Governor of Osun State, Mr. Gboyega Oyetola has called on African leaders to weave strategies that will fetch world recognition and financial gains around its natural possession.
According to Oyetola, it will do the continent a lot of good in using its cultural heritage as a huge public relations tool and a catalyst for desired economic and infrastructural development.
The governor made the call in Ile-Ife at a training programme organised by the African World Heritage Fund (AWHF)
The training programme according to the organizers, is for the conservation and preservation of Africa’s natural and cultural heritage.
The Governor who was represented by his deputy, Mr Benedict Olugboyega Alabi said through effective and sustainable management, Africa’s World Heritage sites will be catalysts in transforming Africa’s image and act as a vehicle to stimulate economic growth and infrastructural development.
He hinted that this should catch the attention of all African Leaders and other stakeholders and prod them to work together to make Africa greater than it is.
Oyetola who described Africa as a home of culture and primary source of world natural and cultural heritage maintained that strategy is critical to achieving institutional and personal goals
He commended AWHF for adopting the strategy for perpetuating its vision for sustainable development.
He therefore appealed to all the governments of Africa, African entrepreneurs, culture ambassadors and well meaning individuals to offer financial and technical supports to the agency to enable it deploy Africa’s Cultural heritage for economic growth and infrastructural development.
He assured that as the state remains renowned worldwide as the natural habitat of culture, his administration will continue to strategize for conservation and preservation of cultural heritage sites in the state.
“It is on this score that I salute the effort of the World African Heritage Fund to train personnel for achieving its vision to conserve and protect our continental heritage.
“The vision of the AWHF is remarkable. I therefore take liberty to quote it to bring it to our attention for prime effect:
“AWHF pursues the identification and preparation of African sites towards inscription on the World Heritage List.
“I would like to use this medium to commend African Member States of UNESCO for coming up with the initiative and strategy that led to the establishment of AWHF. I thank the World African Heritage Fund for organising this training programme to hone the skills and build the capacity of heritage experts and site managers.
“Words are inadequate to express our appreciation to the resource persons for their services to Africa. The impact that this training session will generate will stand as your legacy to Africa. This generation and the ones yet unborn will never forget your labour of love. I also thank the heritage experts and site managers for offering to use their potentials for the upliftment of the image and pride of Africa”, Oyetola added.