Karim Adeyemi Foundation: Celebrating World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development

Residents of Ibadan at Karim Adeyemi Foundation Street Football Event an event designed to foster peaceful dialogue and celebration among residents of various cultural backgrounds.

Every year on May 21st, we come together to celebrate the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, a day established by UNESCO in 2002. This special day serves as a reminder of the immense value that cultural diversity brings to our world. It is a day to acknowledge the wealth of our collective human experience, woven from countless traditions, languages, and customs. But more importantly, it’s a call to action—a call to foster dialogue, understanding, and collaboration between cultures for a more peaceful and sustainable future.

Why Cultural Diversity Matters More Than Ever

Cultural diversity is a driving force of development, not only with respect to economic growth but also as a means of leading a more fulfilling intellectual, emotional, moral, and spiritual life. According to UNESCO data, the cultural and creative sector is one of the most powerful engines of development worldwide, accounting for more than 48 million jobs globally. This sector represents 6.2% of all existing employment and 3.1% of global GDP, providing opportunities for the largest number of young people under the age of 30.

Image source: Facts.NG Egungun Festival in Oyo State

However, the cultural and creative sector still does not have the place it deserves in public policies and international cooperation. To change this, in September 2022, delegations from 150 States gathered in Mexico for MONDIACULT 2022 and unanimously adopted the historic Declaration for Culture, affirming culture as a “global public good” and calling for its integration into the development agenda beyond 2030.

The Importance of Intercultural Dialogue

With 89% of all current conflicts occurring in countries with low intercultural dialogue, strengthening intercultural dialogue is crucial for achieving peace and sustainable development. Three-quarters of the world’s major conflicts have a cultural dimension, making it urgent and necessary to bridge the gap between cultures for peace, stability, and development.

Intercultural dialogue helps us understand, respect, and appreciate the diverse cultures that make up our world. It promotes mutual understanding and cooperation, which are essential for building a more inclusive and harmonious global society.

Karim Adeyemi Foundation: Our Commitment to Cultural Diversity

At Karim Adeyemi Foundation, we are dedicated to eliminating inequalities and fostering cultural diversity through dialogue and development, starting from our home base in the vibrant city of Ibadan. Ibadan, with its rich cultural heritage and diverse population, serves as a microcosm of the world’s cultural tapestry.

How We Foster Intercultural Dialogue


Karim Adeyemi Foundation Annual Essay Participants holding their certificates of participation at a recent essay competition event held at the University of Ibadan

Education is key to fostering understanding and appreciation for different cultures. At the University of Ibadan, Nigeria’s premier university, students and staff from various parts of Nigeria and the world come together, integrating multicultural perspectives into daily life. Through our essay contests among secondary school students in Oyo State, we promote intercultural dialogue by merging education with sports, highlighting how peace and development can be fostered through these mediums.


Cross section of some of Adeyemi Football Club players in Ibadan

The power of sports to initiate intercultural dialogue cannot be overstated. At Karim Adeyemi Foundation, we use our beloved football club, Adeyemi F.C., to engage in cultural diversity and dialogue. Adeyemi F.C. consists of players from different states, cultures, and ethnicities, working together to develop the image of sports as a cultural unifier. As they interact with each other and the community, cultural dialogue flows effortlessly, and they celebrate each other’s cultures.

Community Engagement

Cross section of market women participating in our Street Football Competition

Ibadan, while predominantly Yoruba, is home to various other cultures. Our community engagement efforts include cultural exchanges through interventions, workshops, and community events, which help people celebrate their differences. By making lives easier for all community members without discrimination, we foster dialogue and mutual learning about the uniqueness of various cultures.

Bridging Cultures, Building a Better Future

At Karim Adeyemi Foundation, we believe that by embracing and celebrating our differences, we can build a more equal, sustainable, and prosperous world. We invite you to join us in celebrating the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. Let’s use the means available to us—education, sports, and community engagement—to foster intercultural dialogue and eliminate inequalities.

Join our charge in making a difference. Together, we can build a better future, one where cultural diversity is cherished, and dialogue leads to lasting peace and development.

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