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ANA visits UNESCO, sues for support, collaboration

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  • January 29, 2024
  • 2 min read
ANA visits UNESCO, sues for support, collaboration

By Joan Orji

ON Friday, January 26, 2024, the President of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Dr. Usman Oladipo Akanbi, in company of the General Secretary, Dame Joan Oji (PhD), returned a visit to Mr. Abdouramen Diallo, Head of Nigeria Office, UNESCO at the UN House, Abuja. Recall that the diplomat had first visited ANA National Secretariat on November 18, 2023 in company of his bosom friend and Secretary-General of Pan-African Writers Association (PAWA), Dr. Wale Okediran. On that occasion, Akanbi had called from Ilorin to delegate the General Secretary and the Assistant General Secretary, A.R.A. Aderinoye to receive Diallo on ANA’s behalf and to show him round the Mamman Vatsa Writers’ Village, which they did.

This appreciation visit was therefore ANA president’s gesture of gratitude and a call for more collaboration with the international body. In a passionate letter to the UNESCO’s Country Representative Akanbi thanked Diallo for that November visit and implored him to use his time in Nigeria to promote, support, and sponsor some of ANA’s future programmes and projects.

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Head of Nigeria Office, UNESCO, Mr. Abdouramen Diallo; Dr. Wale Okediran and Dr. Joan Orji at UNESCO House, Abuja

In his response, Diallo, who had invited his Culture Desk Officer, Mr. Ifeanyi and two others to receive us, acknowledged that ANA had done well to visit him. He drew attention to UNESCO’s mandate which is centred primarily on education and culture, stating that literature sits in-between the two. He revealed that the African Union had declared the year 2024 as the Year for Education, urging ANA to avail itself of all the programmes lined up to celebrate the year. He directed us to liaise with Ifeanyi for regular updates and positive engagements.

On his part, Ifeanyi, an award-winning author, recalled how ANA Vice President, Dr. Obari Gomba had tried to lure him into joining the association, but that he was put off by the dirty political horse trading he witnessed at one ANA Convention. “Now that ANA is serious,” he said, reading the letter before him, “I will register formally as a member.” Ifeanyi agreed that our visit was timely because January is normally the beginning of planning of UNESCO’s annual events and programmes.

Oji, ANA Secretary-General, writes from Abuja

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