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We'll continue to promote our cultural heritage - Unical VC

Prof. Zana Akpagu, Unical VC

The Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Prof Zana Akpagu has said that the institution would continue to support projects and programmes that builds cultural heritage.

Prof Akpagu stated this at the Annual International Conference of the Pan-African Anthropological Associations (PAAA) with the theme: “Resurgence of Slavery: Implications for African Anthropology and Development in the 21st century” held at the Institution’s Faculty of Medicine Conference hall.

The Vice Chancellor who was represented by the Chairman, Committee of Deans and Dean, Faculty of Physical Sciences, Prof Benedict Ita stated that the University would continue to give priority attention to issues that bothers on culture.

Prof Akpagu said that the University of Calabar has over the years celebrated national and International Scholars that have vigorously pursued the cultural ideological drive of the PAAA which has now assumed global impactful dimension.

While welcoming the International and national delegate to the Institution and wishing them fruitful deliberations, he vouch the support of his administration for one of the PAAA scholars from the University that had been  installed as the substantive President of the association in person of Takim Asu Ojua.

In an earlier remark, the Chairman, Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of the lPAAA and Head of Department, Social Work, Unical Dr Takim Ojua expressed his appreciation to all the International and National Delegates of the association  as well as  the International parent body of the association for granting the hosting right of the conference to UNICAL.

Prof Ojua hinted that the emphasis of the conference was on valuable policy and intellectual positions to handle the new trend of slavery, exploitation and diverse forms of human subjugation from multicultural dimension.

Also Speaking, the first African President,  PAAA  and Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, Prof Peter-Jazzy Ezeh thanked the Vice Chancellor for accepting the opportunity to host the international conference noting that  it’s the second time such a conference was being held in Nigeria.

He said that the theme of the conference was apt as it was geared towards creating awareness as well as proffering solutions.

The President, while appreciating the guidance and wisdom of his predecessor and all the conference participants, urged the participants to brainstorm and unravel the anthropological role and relevance in curtailing the resurgence of slavery.

In a Keynote Address, a Professor of Anthropology, University of Uyo, Prof. Innocent V. O. Modo asserted that slavery has always been a strong factor or element in the development of African States.

He embarked on a brief narrative on slaving and slavery before European contact with Africa, trans-Atlantic slave trade before the so-called resurgence in the 21st century and also linking the resurgence of slavery in West Africa to human trafficking.

Prof. Modo stated that human trafficking which is an endemic form of modern day slavery is now either involuntary or voluntary adding that the practice has become a regional disgrace.

According to him “it is therefore not a welcome idea for fellow West Africans or Nigerians to be agents in the resurgence of such a distasteful continental abuse, linking Trafficking to poverty and a the so called “ search for greener pasture”.

He opined that it is loss of human dignity for a true Negro of West Africa origin to once again fill form to become a foreign citizen with all the consequences of abandoning his ancestral home and people.

The event was well attended by participants from Nigerian Universities, Malawi, Cameroon and other African countries.

The conference featured Goodwill messages from representatives of World Council Anthropology Associations (WCAA) and the first International President and Deputy Vice Chancellor, Catholic University Bamenda, Cameroon. Prof Paul. Nkwi.

The Highpoint of the event was dance performance, a group Photograph and official opening of the conference by the Vice Chancellor.
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