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Multifaceted benefits of bi-culturalism

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By Abraham Adekunle

Exploring insights from the just-concluded Nigeria-Canada summit.

In the wake of the Nigeria-Canada Trade Summit, which concluded last week, discussions surrounding the manifold advantages of individuals straddling two distinct cultural landscapes have reached a crescendo. The summit, a collaborative effort spearheaded by Glocapro, convened a constellation of luminaries hailing from various spheres of expertise, underscoring the transformative potential inherent in embracing a dual heritage. Steering the discourse into uncharted territories, the summit, held in Lagos on March 7, 2024, transcended mere economic considerations to delve into the socio-cultural tapestry that characterizes the lives of Nigerians domiciled in Canada.

Pat Utomi, an esteemed professor of political economics, set the tone with his impassioned articulation of the catalytic role that diasporans can play in sculpting Nigeria’s future. Drawing parallels with the historical metamorphosis witnessed in nations like Japan, India, and China, Utomi elucidated how diaspora communities have historically acted as harbingers of progress, infusing indigenous landscapes with novel ideas and perspectives. “Nigeria, despite its current tribulations, possesses the latent potential for resurgence, and the vanguard of this resurgence lies in its diaspora,” remarked Utomi, underscoring the imperative for Nigeria to harness the intellectual capital and ethical frameworks embedded within its diaspora communities.

A nurturing environment is unavoidable, says Adesanya.

Niyi Adesanya, a luminary in the realms of leadership and management consultancy, echoed Utomi’s sentiments, albeit through the prism of sustainable business practices. Emphasizing the cyclical nature of prosperity, Adesanya made the four tiers of business success clearer, underlining the indispensability of a nurturing environment conducive to entrepreneurial endeavours. “Achieving enduring wealth goes beyond mere accumulation of riches; it necessitates the cultivation of an ecosystem that fosters innovation and resilience,” remarked Adesanya, advocating for a paradigm shift in Nigeria’s approach towards economic empowerment.

Mehal Singh, a stalwart in the realm of Canadian immigration consultancy, provided a first hand and account of navigating the labyrinthine pathways to entrepreneurial success in Canada. His testimonial, punctuated by anecdotes of perseverance and fortitude, served as a beacon of hope for aspiring entrepreneurs seeking to capitalize on Canada’s burgeoning economic landscape. However, amidst the chorus of optimism, Sunday Olorunsheyi sounded a cautionary note, highlighting the disparity between the burgeoning African diaspora in Canada and their representation in decision-making echelons.

More comments from personalities in the field.

“Economic empowerment necessitates more than just entrepreneurial zeal; it mandates active participation in policy formulation and governance,” remarked Olorunsheyi, underscoring the imperative for Africans to go beyond the confines of passive assimilation and assert their agency in shaping Canada’s socio-economic fabric. Babajide Shiwoku, co-convener of the summit, gave more insights on Glocapro’s mission to push for economic empowerment among Africans in Canada, citing the new but emerging Afro-Caribbean demographic as a potential avenue for growth and prosperity.

“The trajectory of Nigeria-Canada trade relations hinges on our ability to leverage the synergies embedded within our diasporic communities,” remarked Shiwoku, underscoring the imperative for concerted efforts aimed at fostering cross-cultural exchange and collaboration. The summit, a veritable melting pot of ideas and aspirations, culminated in a resolute pledge to further explore and harness the latent potential of Nigeria-Canada trade relations. Glocapro’s announcement regarding the forthcoming Canada edition of the summit in September 2024 elicited palpable excitement, underscoring the burgeoning optimism surrounding the prospects of bi-culturalism in fostering global interconnectedness and prosperity.

Related Article: Canada hikes proof of funds for Nigerians

Amidst the illustrious gathering of luminaries spanning diverse sectors, including business, technology, manufacturing, and professional services, the summit bore testimony to the inexorable march towards a more inclusive and interconnected global paradigm. As the curtains descended on the Nigeria-Canada Trade Summit, one couldn’t help but marvel at the catalytic potential inherent in embracing the duality of cultural heritage—a potential poised to usher in an era of unprecedented growth and prosperity on both sides of the Atlantic.

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