By Dafe Rukevwe
The Faculty of Arts, Delta State University, Abraka, has successfully held her 6th international conference.
The event which took place today at the 750-seater-lecture Theatre Hall in Site 111 of the campus in Abraka, was titled: “Rethinking the Humanities and Development in Africa.”
Speaking during the programme, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Victor Peretomode, during his opening speech commended the organizers of the programme, saying that “the conference has succeeded in creating an avenue for intellectuals in the humanities to engage in a cross-fertilization of ideas and enable them to update their intellectual currency in the diverse disciplines in the humanities.”
He continued: “The conference has also exposed the undergraduate and postgraduate students in the Faculty of Arts to intellectual converse in the humanities.”
According to him, “the theme of this year’s programme is germane to the international discourse on African development.”
Peretomode tasked the conference organizers to exploit avenues to link the knowledge in the humanities with that of science and technology to accelerate the transition of countries in the continent from developing to developed ones.
Earlier, the Dean of the Faculty, Prof. (Mrs.) Grace Ogwu, during her welcome address said that “the theme highlights the need for African intellectuals to adopt new approaches for the continent’s development.”
She hoped that the intellectual output will serve as inputs for the continent’s developmental strides.
Delivering his address, the Keynote Speaker, Best Ochigbo, a Professor of Painting, Department of Fine and Industrial Arts, University of Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State, said that “most African leaders have sacrificed long term development for short-term development as they spread development to areas that are not human friendly.”
He added: “Only true Humanism, nurtured by strong humanities disciplines, can development take place in Africa.”
On his part, the Lead Paper Presenter, Prof. Olatunji Oyesile, Department of Philosophy, University of Ibadan, Oyo State, said that “while nobody can contest the claim that science and technology constitute a very important basis for the development of man, neglecting the humanistic education is counterproductive to the development of science and technology.”
He urged his colleagues to practice developmental humanities geared towards solving the many problems of man.
Prof. Oyesile spoke on the topic: “The Humanities and Utilitarian Conception of Development in Africa: Issues and Concerns.”
Present at the auspicious occasion were principal officers of the university and academics from and beyond Nigeria.