NIGERIA is a key Member State of UNWTO and a founding member of the organization since 1975. And I would like to commend you, Mr. President, for your outstanding support as the first Member State to sign the instrument of ratification of the UNWTO Framework Convention. on Tourism Ethics 2020— Zurab Pololikashvili.
SHOULD knowledge of Spanish be an essential requirement for the successful implementation of bilateral agreements between Nigeria and Spain? On June 1, 2022, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari met with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón to mark a unique occasion for the two nations which resulted in several bilateral agreements and memorandums of understanding. Buhari’s visit, which included his speech to members of the Nigerian-Spanish Business Forum and his address to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) headquartered in Madrid, highlighted Nigeria’s centrality in contributions economic and cultural world of Africa. Already, as a founding member of UNWTO, Nigeria is set to host the first World Conference on Cultural Tourism and Creative Industry in Lagos in November 2022. 2023” foreign policy recently unveiled by Prime Spanish minister promising to “build closer economic and institutional ties with various African countries”.
Nigeria and Spain have enjoyed many years of cooperation and strong diplomatic relations. Nevertheless, at the heart of Nigerian-Spanish relations is the linguistic distance between English and Spanish which informs all facets of the interactions between the countries. The question then is how the divide between English and Spanish might impact the overall success and potential benefits of the most recent agreements and memoranda of understanding targeting important policy areas. How will the linguistic distance between Nigeria and Spain affect the associated administrative and transaction costs in communications? It should be noted that the study of Spanish as a foreign language in Nigeria lags considerably behind other languages including Chinese, French and German. And yet, in terms of the volume of Spanish speakers in the world, Spanish is surpassed only by English and Chinese. The Nigerian-Spanish agreements offer a supreme opportunity to revive Spanish language education in Nigeria. And the benefits are countless. Here are a few. This means that Nigerians will learn a truly global language. This means that Nigerians will not only understand the vast history of Spain’s Iberian Peninsula, but also this nation’s unprecedented explorations of a distant New World in 1492 and the birth of a Spanish-speaking America. In Spanish America, Nigerians will rediscover the presence of millions of people of African descent and understand their history and the cultural manifestations that continue to bind them to the African continent.
In addition, studying Spanish in Nigeria will expand a knowledge base that emphasizes economic, educational, cross-cultural, and cross-cultural exchanges between Nigeria, Spain, and Spanish-speaking America. The Association for the Advancement of the Spanish Language in Nigeria (SLANG Global) is a non-profit organization incorporated in 2019 and based in Enugu, Nigeria. Several key objectives of SLANG Global include: to promote the learning and advancement of the Spanish language in Nigeria, to promote awareness of Spanish culture in Nigeria, to promote awareness and understanding of the Spanish-speaking African Diaspora in the Caribbean and America Latin, support and sustain Spanish language studies in Nigeria, seek affiliations and partnerships with tertiary institutions in Nigeria to find potential students in Spanish, train students of tertiary institutions to become Spanish teachers serving key regions of Nigeria and to build intellectual links between Nigeria and Latin America/Caribbean; highlight the presence and contributions of Afro-Latinos in Latin America and the Caribbean, promote student and faculty exchanges and the transfer/exchange of expertise, and engage in community outreach that promotes empowerment women through intellectual craftsmanship. SLANG Global welcomes the recent agreements between Nigeria and Spain as an important impetus to reinvigorate the study of the Spanish language in Nigeria.
- Vasser, Spanish teacher and director/CEO of SLANG Global, writes via email@example.com
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