Prof. Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Abuja, is of the opinion that Nigeria has the potential to adopt China’s effective development strategies without compromising its unique cultural heritage. In Abuja, on January 23, 2024, Na’Allah expressed his thoughts during a seminar called the Global Civilization Initiative. This event was jointly arranged by the Chinese Embassy and the University of Abuja, focusing on fostering international collaboration and cultural exchange. Boasting over one billion citizens, China stands as the second most populated nation globally. Remarkably, it has managed to evolve into a sophisticated entity without sacrifice to its deep-rooted customs and cultural heritage, as affirmed by the vice-chancellor.
Despite Nigeria having a population of just 250 million individuals, the country continues to face challenges in its economic development. In contrast, China, with its massive population, has managed to thrive. This success can be attributed to China’s unique approach to democracy, which is not Western in nature but instead tailored to their cultural and societal requirements. Nigeria does not need to bear any similarity to the Western world as it is distinct from them. Nigerians’ dissimilarities make them unique, including their diverse traditions and distinct cultural heritage. In order to preserve Nigeria’s cultural heritage, it is paramount that citizens embrace a developmental path that takes into consideration their deeply-rooted traditions, kingdoms, and unique way of life. Nigerians possess the innate understanding and insight to determine the most suitable form of modernization that aligns with the nation’s needs.
Majority of Chinese individuals do not communicate in English.
It is imperative for Nigeria to retrace its steps by embracing its ancestral roots and actively imparting knowledge of language and culture to the younger populace. Only through this intentional effort can an enduring cultural legacy be secured. China’s approach to modernization offers valuable insights, as they have successfully managed to preserve their cultural heritage while propelling themselves forward. In contrast, Nigeria has inadvertently made its emirs, chiefs, and kings obsolete in its pursuit of progress. It is evident that the majority of Chinese individuals do not communicate in English; instead, they use their native language. However, despite this language barrier, their level of productivity surpasses that of any other country globally.
He expressed the need for Nigerians to comprehend that the progress of the nation can be shaped by civilization, but they must do away with the misconception that modernization is synonymous with Westernization. Cui Jianchun, the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, asserted that in order to progress towards a more civilized society, it is imperative to embrace and honour the diversity that exists among different ethnicities. The advancement of society lies within the realm of modernization, and it is through this movement that nations strive to champion the importance of embracing diversity.
Establishment of strong global connections is important.
The deepest desire is for the nations that are represented to wholeheartedly embrace their unique cultural heritage and continually enhance it in harmony with the ever-evolving society around them. During the High-Level Meeting of World Political Parties at the Communist Party of China (CPC) in Dialogue, Chinese President Xi Jinping made the impactful announcement called the Civilization Initiative. This momentous pronouncement took place in March 2023. China holds the belief that the Global Civilization Initiative (GCI) holds the potential to significantly propel the advancement of mankind’s modernisation journey and foster the creation of a unified community that shares a common future.
Furthermore, the mission is to promote a world where all cultures are valued and celebrated, allowing for harmonious coexistence. There is belief in the power of embracing different perspectives and encouraging dialogue between civilizations. By fostering respect and empathy, they hope to build bridges that connect everyone as members of the human race. Throughout history, the significance of inheriting knowledge from prior civilizations and embracing innovative ideas has been widely recognized. Equally important is the establishment of strong global connections. He expressed his belief in fostering connections and collaboration among individuals, he stated.
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According to Cui, achieving civilization requires Nigeria to comply with the specific regulations that are in place. These regulations are put in place to ensure that the process is carried out in a safe, fair, and ethical manner. Therefore, adherence to these regulations is of utmost importance. It must also take into account the distinctive attributes and particular circumstances pertaining to the country. China’s ambassador disclosed additional information, stating that the upcoming China-Africa forum will be conducted in October 2024. China and Nigeria are set to take part in the event, with Nigeria participating and leading the way.
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