Education Minister Applauds Etiquette Africa For Promoting Civility, Advancing Development In Africa

Education Minister, Prof. Mamman and Convener/Founder, Etiquette Africa Initiative Etienying Akpanusong

By Frank Oshanugor

Nigeria’s Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman has commended the conveners of the maiden edition of Etiquette Africa Conference and Exhibition for their dedication

Prof. Tahir Mamman, Minister of Education

towards promoting civility which he described as “an essential pillar upon which a prosperous society should be built.”

The Minister who was unavoidably absent (but represented) at the two-day event which held in Abuja recently said in his good will message to the organisers that the issue of incivility has remained critical but often gone unnoticed in discussions about Africa’s development. He was therefore hopeful that the conference would serve as a “catalyst for meaningful dialogue and actionable solutions with a view empowering individuals and communities to cultivate a culture of respect, understanding and cooperation.”

He described the theme of the Conference as being more apt at this time in our history when the country “is charting a new course of rebirth in civility through the Renewed Hope Agenda of Mr. President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu. As Nigeria plays a significant role in Africa’s socio-economic development, a rebirth of civility in this country will positively impact the African continent,” he enthused.

According to the Minister “incivility refers to disrespectful or rude behaviour, often characterised by a lack of consideration for others, disregard for social norms, and failure
to maintain basic courtesy and decorum in interactions. It can manifest in various forms, such as verbal aggression, gender-based prejudice, disregard for regulations like disobedience to traffic codes, street hawking (especially on pedestrian bridges) and many other disruptive behaviours we see daily around us.”

He posited that incivility can occur in both personal, professional public or governance setting adding that incivility can impede Africa’s development in various ways.” These ways, he noted include the capacity to erode social cohesion thereby fostering division and discord among communities, hindering collaboration and collective action towards common goals.

“It can also undermine governance by causing citizens’ trust in institutions and leaders to diminish, leading to instabilty and hampering effective governance. It can limit economic progress by hindering
investments and business growth, as it creates an atmosphere of unpredictabilty and risk for both local and foreign investors.

“Incvility can also disrupt learning environments, affecting academic performance and the overall quality of education just as it has the capacity to diminish wel-being physical and mental health of its victims as a result of stress and anxiety it causes them.

This, he posited can utimately impact their productvity and general wellbeings. It can stifle creativity and innovation by creating an atmosphere of fear and inhibition, discouraging indviduals from expressing new ideas or taking risks.”

Prof. Mamman also declared that the efects of incivillty on Africa’s development are profound and far-reaching, stating that “It is imperative that we recognize the importance of
fostering a culture of respect, accountability, and collaboration if we are to overcome these challenges and unlock the continent’s full potential.”

The Education boss was however encouraging as according to him “amidst these challenges, there is hope. By fostering a culture of respect, accountability, and dialogue, we can begin to dismantle the barriers that impede Africa’s development. Investing in education, promoting transparency in governance, and empowering marginalized communities are essential steps towards building a more equitable and prosperous future for all,” he said.

He was however, not oblivious of the fact that overcoming the challenges may require, a multi-faceted approach which may include legal reforms, public education campaigns, through Non-Governmental and Civil Society Organisations, (which Etiquete Africa is taking the lead), educational institutions, and individuals.

Written by: Frank Oshanugor

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