AFRICA. Nigeria: The ancient city of Bida in Niger state is recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a Creative Cities Network on crafts and folk arts.
The council Chairman of Bida local government, Suleiman Sheshi has identified challenges facing the growth of the crafts in the city as lack of creativity, infrastructural deficit, and inadequate funds.
Sheshi, who disclosed while addressing the world leaders at the 40th Annual Conference of UNESCO in Santos, Brazil, said that Bida is the first Nigerian city to be accepted into the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN).
It is to be noted that Sheshi, who doubled as the Deputy Coordinator of the African Mayor’s Forum and Mayor of Bida, assured that the international recognition of Bida by UNESCO will be properly used to further explore the hidden artistic and cultural heritage, to attract Tourists and international Traders to the cultural heritage of the ancient town.
“Weakness in creativity, infrastructural challenges, poor facilities and inadequate funds have been identified as the major obstacles facing the development of arts and folk in Nigeria,” Sheshi added.
Sheshi, therefore, attributed the slow pace of artistic development to a lack of technical support and access to grants. He also called on the investors to vest in the rich cultural heritage.
The UCCN, which was created in 2004, aimed at promoting cooperation among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development.