Culture Ministry Achieves UNESCO Inscription for Sango Festival and Midwifery Traditions

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The Honourable Minister of Arts Culture and the Creative Economy Barrister Hannatu Musa Musawa has announced the Ministry’s success in pushing for UNESCO’s inscription of Sango festival Oyo and the multinational nominating of Midwifery: knowledge skills and practices.

The Minister made this known at the Federal Executive Council Meeting, presided over by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Monday, while briefing the Council on the strategic activities of the ministry since its establishment in August 2023.

The two key products from Nigeria were inscribed on the UNESCO representative list of intangible cultural heritage of humanity during the 18th Session of the Inter-Governmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Kasane Botswana from 4th to 9th December 2023.

The Sango Festival and Midwifery traditions have now been recognized as integral parts of human cultural heritage, joining five previous Nigerian inscriptions: If a Divination System (2008), Oral Heritage of Gelede (2008), Ijele Masquerade (2009), Argungu International Fishing and Cultural Festival (2016), and Kwagh-hir Theatrical Performance (2019).


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Musawa said that the achievement was made possible through the Ministry’s efforts and strategic collaborations at the national and international levels, in line with the 2003 UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.

“The UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, plays a crucial role in safeguarding and promoting cultural diversity worldwide. It helps in raising the awareness about the significance of Intangible Cultural Heritage, encourages dialogue between communities, fosters respect for cultural expressions and promotes sustainable development by preserving traditional knowledge and practices.

“The inclusion of these two Nigerian cultural elements on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity has transformed them into shared global heritage (products) with enhanced visibility. The 181 States; Parties to the 2003 UNESCO Convention for Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage are predisposed to visiting Nigeria to enjoy these cultural expressions.

“The anticipated increase in tourism inflow into the country, will result in global visibility, job creation and wealth generation , thereby contributing to sustainable national growth and development, economic well-being and pride in national cultural identity,” she said.


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