Twenty (20) Nigerian youths including Cultural Officers from the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) and students of the University of Calabar have been admitted to undergo a global cultural training on inventorying of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) in Nigeria 
It is in a bid to strengthen the involvement of young people in the safeguarding, transmission and promotion of Nigerian culture towards equipping them to become experts in safeguarding the nation’s ICH that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is collaborating with NICO and the University of Calabar to undertake the training.
At the commencement of the 3-Day Capacity Building Workshop using the Concepts and Mechanism of the 2003 Convention which held at Axari Hotel in Calabar, Cross River State, the Head of UNESCO Regional Office in Abuja, Mr. Abdourahmane Diallo said the choice of young people to be trained in the safeguarding and promotion of ICH in the country is a proof of UNESCO’s commitment to support Nigeria in promoting her culture in general.
Represented by the Programme Specialist on Culture, Philip Delanghe, Diallo said the 2003 UNESCO convention consolidates the link between the process of safeguarding and transmission of intangible cultural heritage of humanity which compliments the legal instruments already in place to support the promotion of living heritage as part of the history of a people and a component of their future.
“The workshop is designed to strengthen the capacities of female and male youths to safeguard the intangible cultural heritage of their communities through inventory and documentation, using the concept and mechanisms of the 2003 Convention. By building their capacities, UNESCO intends to ensure the safeguarding and transmission of the intangible cultural heritage of Nigerian communities as well as support the effective implementation of the 2003 Convention”.
“Bearing in mind that the safeguarding and promotion of intangible cultural heritage speaks to both of us in the future and as young people, I have been tasked with the critical role of transmitting and carrying all the intangible cultural heritage of their communities and support the participation of more youths in this very critical task of safeguarding intangible cultural heritage”.
Also speaking, the Vice Chancellor, University of Calabar, Professor Florence Obi who was represented by the Dean, Faculty of Arts, Professor Kyrian Ojong regretted the lack of cultural knowledge been exhibited by Nigerian youths, especially in the area of intangible cultural heritage.
While stressing the need to continuously create awareness on safeguarding our intangible culture, the University Don maintained that the academia will remain committed to their engagements in the area of research and preservation of cultural knowledge, especially our indigenous languages and transmit the same knowledge from one generation to the other.
“There is a particular need for us to be reminded about the issue of language. Almost all of us here are from communities that have a local language. It will shock you that a lot of our languages are going into extinction and when we talk of the preservation of culture, language plays a very significant role and when you can’t speak your language, you cannot conceptualize the intangible cultures”.
He therefore appreciated UNESCO for such a laudable initiative, saying he is confident that at the end of the workshop, the participants will gain a lot of knowledge that will be helpful in safeguarding intangible cultural heritage of Nigeria.
Caleb NorMedia Asst.-ESNICO, Abuja.