Wikimedia UG Nigeria Marks International Mother Tongue Day with Inaugural Language Symposium

Wikimedia User Group Nigeria commemorated International Mother Language Day in Nigeria with the inaugural Nigeria Language Symposium, a significant event to celebrate linguistic diversity and promote the preservation of indigenous languages.

International Mother Language Day, observed by the United Nations, is a global platform to advocate for linguistic and cultural diversity.

In alignment with this mission, Wikimedia UG Nigeria organized the maiden edition of the Nigeria Language Symposium, bringing together language enthusiasts and experts nationwide.

With over 500 indigenous languages spoken in Nigeria, representing 25% of African languages, the symposium addressed the importance of preserving these linguistic treasures. Despite recent efforts in language policy, challenges still need to be addressed in achieving comprehensive language preservation and promotion.

The symposium, held both remotely and in-person, featured keynote speaker Dr. Abisoye Adebesin, a renowned research fellow at the Institute of African and Diaspora Studies, University of Lagos, along with a distinguished panel of linguists including Adesina Ayeni, Iheadindueme Loveth Chidinma, Tayo Fagbure, and Dr. Cisse Ibrahim, representing diverse linguistic backgrounds.

Participants engaged in fruitful discussions on the International Mother Language Day theme, exploring challenges and solutions for language preservation in Nigeria. The event facilitated knowledge sharing and collaboration, showcasing projects such as an oral history documentation initiative aimed at preserving cultural heritage through audiovisual content.

In a significant step towards sustained advocacy, the organizing team inaugurated a working group dedicated to advancing language preservation efforts and fostering dialogue with policymakers. The group, comprising stakeholders from across the language spectrum, is poised to commence immediate action towards its objectives.

As Olaniyan Olushola, President of Wikimedia UG Nigeria, affirmed, “Our commitment to preserving and promoting indigenous languages remains unwavering. The Nigeria Language Symposium catalyzes collective action towards safeguarding our linguistic heritage for future generations.”

About Wikimedia UG Nigeria

Wikimedia UG Nigeria is an affiliate of the Wikimedia Foundation dedicated to making knowledge accessible to all. Through various initiatives and collaborations, Wikimedia UG Nigeria strives to promote open access to information and preserve cultural heritage in Nigeria.

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