Nnamdi Azikiwe University has been described as the most friendly Anthropological University in the country. This was stated by the in-coming president of the Pan-African Anthropological Association (PAAA) Dr. P.J. Ezeh during the Association’s first Annual Conference held in UNIZIK recently.
Speaking during the Conference, the Executive Governor of Anambra State, His Excellence Chief Dr. Willie Obiano, represented by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Nkem Okeke said he was happy to be in UNIZIK, and it was a home coming for him. He noted that the theme of the Conference: “Conflict Resolutions in Africa: Anthropological Dimensions” is quite interesting. He defined conflict as a form of friction, disagreement or discord arising within a group, i.e when the beliefs or actions of one or more members of a group are either resisted or unacceptable to one or more members of another group.
Dr. Okeke stated the causes of conflict to include; family background, Environment, belief and so on. He said if we can answer all these questions, then we can live in peace and harmony with one another. Finally, he admonished the students to be serious minded so as to make good grades when they graduate.
While declaring the conference open, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Joseph E. Ahaneku, FAS said he was delighted to welcome all to UNIZIK for the first Annual Conference of PAAA in Nigeria. UNIZIK, he said, is honoured to have the privilege, as it fits into its gusto for promoting research and scholarship through hosting public lectures, conferences, seminars with a view to expanding the frontiers of knowledge and contributing to the solution of extant challenges of society.
Furthermore, Prof. Ahaneku said that the theme of the conference “Conflict Resolutions in Africa: Anthropological Dimensions” is relevant to this times and interesting. He expressed hope and believe that the conference would examine the impact of African cultures in conflict resolution amongst its peoples in the past, present and possibilities for the future.
Earlier, the founding president of the Association and also the DVC, Catholic University of Cameroon, Bamenda, Prof. Paul Nchoji Nkwi gave the brief history of the Association, its development and reforms. He said that PAAA is a professional Association whose primary goal is to facilitate the development of anthropological capacity and promote excellence in the context of Africa’s development. He said that PAAA is committed to solving Africa’s Political and economic problems.
Prof. Nkwi thanked the Vice-Chancellor for hosting the first Association’s Conference in UNIZIK and for his magnanimous support to the Association. He noted that the reasons for the conference in Nigeria were;
- To reflect on conflict resolution by Anthropologists, which was a demonstration that they can solve conflict facing Africa.
- To complete an old cycle.
- To honour Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, who was the first Anthropologist ever produced in Nigeria.
In conclusion he said that Nigeria was chosen to host the first Annual Conference because Nigeria has the largest social community in Africa, so this will help to promote peace in Africa.
Also speaking, the Executive Secretary, Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa, Dr. Ebrima Sall echoed thanks to our amiable Vice-Chancellor for his magnanimous support towards the success of the conference. He said he was happy to be in Nigeria. Anthropology, he said, is very important in human factor because they deal directly with human beings. Finally, he enumerated the importance of an Anthropologist to his/her community.
The in-coming President, Dr. P. J. Ezeh said that Anambra State is best situated to host the conference following history that the State has a policy that invites people to know themselves. He said that Anambra State is the only State that positively reacts to the restoration of its culture and language through its programme “SUWA IGBO”.
Dr. Ezeh applauded the VC again for hosting the Conference in UNIZIK. He said that UNIZIK is the only University that offers Igbo language as a compulsory course for all students and that the name UNIZIK has been written with Gold beginning with the day’s event.
The keynote presenter and former VC Enugu State University of Technology, Prof. Mark Anikpo, gave a detailed information on conflict resolution, starting with its definition, kinds of conflict, causes, effects and ways it can be resolved.
The highlight of the event was the conferment of Patronship of the Association to both the Governor and the Vice-Chancellor.