The Nigerian State and Cultural Diplomacy: Conscious Efforts or Knee Jerk Reactions?

Tunji Azeez


In a world torn apart by war, insurgence, corruption, hatred, and leadership crises, no one will doubt the relevance of culture, diplomacy and leadership in the struggles of individuals and nations to attain peace and enduring development. More specifically, no Nigerian who has witnessed the gradual collapse of values and accent into abject poverty and anarchy will doubt the need to look deeper into the relevance of cultural diplomacy as a tool for interpersonal, communal, national and international understanding. This paper therefore, takes a look at what cultural diplomacy and good leadership mean and how they are employed by other nations such as the US, Germany, France and a few others. This is done in a bid to compare how these nations manage and employ cultural diplomacy with what obtains in Nigeria. In doing this, the paper examines various attempts by cultural diplomats at defining this concept as well as the uses to which it has been put. It also highlights the successes of cultural diplomacy as well as the effects of its neglect by some nations on their acceptability by other nations. It submits that successive Nigerian governments have only paid lip service to the concept at the detriment of national development and that for Nigeria to benefit from cultural diplomacy, its leaders must pay more than lip service to this very important tool by jettisoning their corrupt practices for truly patriotic ones, without •which the nation cannot be taken seriously in international circles.

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