Nigeria, China to Harness Culture for Growth  – Voice of Nigeria

Nigeria, China to Harness Culture for Growth  – Voice of Nigeria


The Director of the China Cultural Center in Nigeria, Mr. Li Xuda, has posited that nurturing cultural exchanges and forging connections through dance envisions a more profound bilateral relationship between China and Nigeria in the future.

Mr. Xuda, speaking at the grand finale of the “Energy China-Nigeria Dance Competition” in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, also mentioned that dance culture can enhance diplomatic relations and economic growth between the two countries if well harnessed.

“Dance is the easiest ‘language’ to communicate in the world. Dance has a unique power that can not only go beyond political, religious, and cultural boundaries but also play an important role in multinational cultural exchanges. The flourishing diplomatic ties between China and Nigeria have found more strength in dance as a form of elegant and dynamic art to enhance cultural exchange between the peoples of both countries. Nigeria is a land rich in history and colorful cultural heritage. Nigerian dances depict its uniqueness. We do hope that the Energy China-Nigeria Dance Competition creates a platform for both Chinese and Nigerian dance lovers to learn from each other and improve together,” he said.

He added that Nigeria’s vibrant cultural heritage creates a conducive environment for cultural exchanges to flourish between the two nations.

“Dance has long been recognized as a universal language that transcends cultural differences and communicates emotions and stories in a powerful and evocative way. Nigeria, long celebrated for its festivals, music, sculptures, literature, film, and dance, is seen by China as an essential partner in advancing its cultural diplomacy objectives in Africa,” he added.

Also speaking, the Managing Director of China Energy International Group, Mr. Li Baisheng, commended the Chinese Embassy and the China Cultural Center for their commitment to enhancing cultural exchanges between China and Nigeria through dance. He noted that the company is proud to be part of efforts to strengthen bonds of friendship.

He said, “Culture is the bridge between souls. Dance, as an important part of culture, can not only go beyond language barriers but also go deep into people’s hearts and convey emotions. Today’s competition is also a symbol of the friendship between China and Nigeria and a testimony to our cultural exchange. I believe that through such events, we can further deepen the understanding and friendship between the two peoples and jointly promote cooperation and development in culture and other fields to contribute to building a China-Nigeria community with a shared future.”

According to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Arts, Culture, and Creative Economy, James Sule, the event transcends borders and fosters understanding, symbolising the essence of cultural exchange and collaboration between the two great nations.

Sule explained that Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage and diverse traditions are essential elements that can be showcased globally through cultural diplomacy. By collaborating with China, a country with a long history and rich cultural legacy, Nigeria aims to enhance its cultural influence and facilitate cross-cultural dialogue that transcends political and economic boundaries. “We believe that by promoting cultural diplomacy, we can build connections that span continents, promoting understanding beyond politics and economics,” Sule said.

Sule further reaffirmed Nigeria’s commitment to fostering lasting mutual ties through cultural diplomacy.

He said, “Nigeria aspires to be a beacon of artistic innovation, a hub where diverse voices converge, and a place where cultural exchange thrives. With the unwavering support of the Ministry of Arts, Nigeria is committed to fostering enhanced cooperation and collaboration with China to strengthen its partnership through cultural diplomacy. By investing in our artists, musicians, writers, and dancers, we unlock boundless potential. Let this dance competition be a testament to the talent that resides within our borders.”

 The Energy China-Nigeria Dance Competition 2024, organised by the Chinese Embassy, China Cultural Center in Nigeria (CNG), and China General Chamber of Commerce in Nigeria (CGCC), and sponsored by China Energy International Group Co., featured various dance groups from both Nigeria and China as well as individual performances.

Nigeria’s Drum for Peace (Gbagy Dance) Troupe emerged as the overall best in the group category, winning a cash prize of N500,000, while Chinese Wang Ao won the best individual prize with a cash prize of N500,000 from the Chinese side.

Others won prizes ranging from N300,000, N200,000, and N100,000 for their excellent performances.

Dominica Nwabufo

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