NCAC zoom: Stakeholders, 14 ambassadors advocate cultural re-engineering for post-COVID-19 challenges

Zoom conference became more pronounced following the global lockdown to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic an many have used and are still using the audiovisual tool to connect and discuss way forward to better tackle the fears and changes of post COVID-19.

In Nigeria series of zoom meetings are ongoing depending on the sectors, challenges anticipated and how to re-integrate back to the society after the pandemic.

However, taking the bull by the horn is one of the most vibrant agencies under the Federal Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) with Chief Segun Runsewe as the Director-General.

Recording a significant feat in the series of zoom conferences organised by the NCAC, the recent was a flagship of Chief Runsewe’s zero tolerance to idleness as he did not only rally stakeholders within and around the arts, culture and creative industry but also attracted over 14 countries for a zoom conference.

Speaking with Travelpulse and MICE on the relevance of the audiovisual meeting, the NCAC boss said that COVID-19 is not only a problem looking for solutions, but also a springboard to resetting the way we think and do things.

According to Runsewe, who spoke on the theme; COVID-19: cultural dynamism, which way forward, said the forum was to interact with stakeholders and industry players in the cultural industry, adding that forum is an agenda setting meeting to chart a way forward for the culture art and creative industry.

“We are all aware that coronavirus has become a global reality, however, we must find a way out of it.

“The purpose of the platform is to discuss and interact as industry players and also to share experience with other countries of the world in practically strategizing for the challenges ahead.

Taking the lead at the zoom conference, the keynote speaker, Mr Dotun Osusanya commended the Director-General of NCAC for leading Nigeria adoption of a current and relevant technology tool (zoom) in looking at the way forward for the industry.

“This is the kind of leadership that we are hoping that it will be brought to bear in this sector and indeed to the country,” he said.

“Of course zoom is very current and it has achieved over 300% in usage in the last three months. That is not an accident but a reaction to a reality, COVID-19. It is COVID-19 pandemic that has inform and brought us to what we are doing in terms of the discussion; cultural dynamism.

“Cultural dynamism has always been relevant but COVID-19 brought it to the centre table and the first thing I which to set straight is that COVID-19 is not the world first pandemic. That fact may steer us on the face but we may just comfortably forget it.

“However, what I want everyone to accept is that whatever we think of or about it, it has come with a change and the post COVID-19 will be different and the first thing to do is to prepare for the change that will come with it.

In this regards, what we are expected to do is to reset our change management mechanism and the most important tool in this respect is culture and that is why I am reminding us of some of the elements of culture; how it was formed and how it moves, putting in mind that culture touches every aspect of our lives.

“We as culture people must help others through cultural value to deal with this pandemic, teach them to use culture as a change tool to cope with the change resulting from the effect of COVID-19.

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“To survive, we have to align with two factors; by seeking new or innovative knowledge and create an event.

“Data and attention are two very important factors that we have to concentrate on so as to survive the POST COVID-19. There are now tools for capturing data and using them to actualise our plan for the future.”

Attention, according to Osusanya, “determines the number of people you can reach at a point in time with the data you have, it also relates to how fast you can respond to the people and change expected.

“We are also looking at funding of cultural institutions as a key factor in order for them to meet up responsibilities and also synergise with other relevant allied industry players for greater working ties,” he said.

Contributing during the zoom conference, participants advocated for practical synergies among global cultural stakeholders in facing the post COVID-19 challenges.

According to Cuban Ambassador to Nigeria, Clara Margarita Pulido Escandell, “ We need to have a global solution for the post COVID-19 because it is a global problem and to get back to business we have to up our game and I want to commend the NCAC boss for the zoom initiative and opportunity to engage everyone.”

Also the Bangladesh High Commission to Nigeria, Shameen Ahsan thanked all for contributing to the COVID-19 issue on the zoom platform, adding that the amount of interest the initiative of the NCAC boss had generated was clear with the number of participants and contribution so far.

“COVID-19 has put us in a place that has proved to us that we need ourselves in preparing for post COVID-19 challenges. We can see challenges from left and right, but I must tell you there are also some opportunities. I congratulate the Director-General, NCAC for the initiative and coming back to the important issue affecting us in Africa can be solved through collective responsibility.

“I am assuring you of the cooperation of Bangladesh in partnering with you in preparing for the post COVID-19 challenges.”

Other stakeholders also called for a post-COVID-19 cultural exhibition as well as calling for a national documentary to showcase the richness of Nigeria cultural heritage, adding that the post COVID-91 era will need new beginning with innovative project, education and promotion of cultural assets.


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