. . DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION . .
An article from Agence Nigérienne de Presse
The Minister of Culture, Tourism and Handicrafts, Mr. Hamid Hamed opened on March 18, 2023 in Gadabedji (Department of Bermo) the 1st edition of the Festival of Peace in Agro-pastoral Zone in the presence od the Minister of State at the Presidency, Mr. Rhissa AG Boula, delegations from the regions of Tahoua, Zinder, Agadez and Maradi, as well as craftsmen from all regions of our country.
Placed under the theme “Intercommunality-social cohesion-Peace and security”, this Festival of Peace in pastoral areas is initiated by leaders committed to supporting the State in its mission to strengthen social cohesion and community security. The initiative is motivated by the fear of violence spreading from the security situation prevailing in certain regions of the country and the persistence of hotbeds of tension in countries with which Niger shares long and porous borders.
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Can festivals help create peace at the community level?
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For the organizers of this festival, it is a question of mobilizing the available energies to preserve peace in this area and to forestall insecurity by focusing on the dynamics of existing and latent conflicts. The objective is to contribute to the strengthening of security and social cohesion based on the traditional socio-cultural values.
Several activities, punctuated by musical and cultural interludes took place during this first edition. These are communications on banditry and the fight against the penetration of terrorists; communication on the dialogue between actors; on the management of shared resources; the contribution of the municipalities in connection with the themes presented and the declaration of the young people; messages from civil society and farmers’ organizations. These communications were moderated by panelists including Dr Elbak Adam, Dr Ali Saley, Dr Bodé Sambo and Col. Director of the Gadabedji reserve.
In his opening speech, the Minister of Culture, Tourism and Handicrafts recalled that this festival is an inter-municipal initiative and it comes at the right time because the current context challenges us all, so that together we participate to the development of our country.
“This is why my Ministerial Department, in accordance with its mission of supervision and promotion of culture, has agreed to support this initiative which fits harmoniously into the dynamics of enhancing the cultural, tourist and artisanal potential of Niger. ” he said.
He added to the organizers that their idea of organizing a festival on the culture of peace fits perfectly with the daily concerns expressed by the highest authorities in Niger.
He expressed the wish to see this festival take place in fraternity and conviviality. “The objective of my Ministerial department is to see Nigerien culture valued in all its splendour. I urge you to take ownership of this project, to show discipline and to submit any suggestions for improvement,” he said.