Dr Sharkdam Wapmuk, a Senior Research Fellow
at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) on Tuesday
advised the Nigerian Government to also begin exporting the country’s
local dishes internationally.
Wapmuk gave the advice in Lagos in a Paper presented at the National
Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO)’s Quarterly Public Lecture
entitled: “Culture As An Effective Tool For Foreign Relations’’.
The senior research fellow also said that Nigerian music, dance,
literature, films, tourism, festivals and sports should be veritable
means for promoting Nigerian culture.
“Since most Africans can have tough times when they get to China,
Nigeria and African restaurants would welcome and connect them with
their home food.
“Other countries, with the active support of their governments, have
extended their areas of influence by exporting their food culture to
“It is also important for the Nigerian government to export her food
“The Nigerian government should also provide support for Nigerians who
are willing to open restaurants abroad, just like countries like China
and India do for their citizens,’’ he said.
Wapmuk expressed optimism that the promotion of Nigerian culture
abroad would expose the country’s rich diversity, enhance cooperation
between Nigeria and other countries, as well as attract more
According to him, culture seeks to transmit a positive image of a
country towards a better mutual understanding with other countries.
He added that Cultural Diplomacy would continue to promote
understanding, national image, prevent conflict, advance trade,
economic interests, and relationships at bilateral and multilateral
The Second National President of the Association of Retired Career
Ambassadors of Nigeria (ARCAN), Amb. Olusegun Akinsanya, said that the conduct
of any country’s foreign relations was guided by her national
Akinsanya, who was also chairman of the event, said that the cultural
prowess of Nigeria could not be undermined, adding that it was
important to further enhance the country’s cultural relations.
and stability in any country and between countries.
“We really need to bring more of the culture of peace into our national
policy. What FESTAC ‘77 did to Nigeria is something that cannot be
wished away,’’ he said.
The National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) was established by Act 93 of 1993,
as a joint initiative of the Nigerian Government and UNESCO during the World Decade for Cultural
The lecture was attended by many dignitaries, including Prof. Duro Oni, a former Director-General of
the Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC), and a one-time Minister of External Affairs,
Gen. Ike Nwachukwu (rtd).
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