Kanempress trains North-East youths on reporting historical landmarks of Lake Chad Basin
An independent news platform based in Borno and Lagos States, Kanempress DigitalHub, has organised a two-day capacity-building workshop for youths in North East Nigeria to enlighten and equip them on the need to report about the rich historical and monumental sites of the Lake Chad region.
The training is being held under the Collaborative Media Engagement for Development, Inclusivity, and Accountability Project, an initiative of the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ), supported by the MacArthur Foundation.
The training which focused on Borno and Yobe States aims to expose participants to the potential and opportunities in the Lake Chad Region.
In his welcome address, the President and Founder of Kanempress Digital Hub, as well as the convener of the workshop, Ibrahim Mustapha, explained that the participants were selected based on certain criteria and considerations.
He charged the participants to write more analytic and investigative reports on the numerous challenges bedeviling not only the historical sites and monuments but also many other sectors and the resilience of the Lake Chad Region.
The guest speaker, Dr Nasir Abba Aji, acknowledged the need for the government at all levels to pay close attention to the preservation of monuments and other historical heritage which have the capability to boost the socio-economic aspect of the country.
Also speaking, the manager of Rabih House Dikwa, Mr Daniel Ishaya, described Borno and Yobe as ancient states that are older than Nigeria itself and urged the government to channel relevant resources that can revive tourism in the zone.
“In fact, if the government can channel huge resources, it can boost tourism and will be a multimillion-dollar industry in the country. We at the national commission for museums and monuments are doing all our best toward discovering ancient monuments that will break old records.”
“Borno, and indeed the Lake Chad region have a great heritage that will help to reshape the history of the world. The number of scholarly books and other wonders of Borno is such that even Timbuktu cannot override the legacy of the Knem Borno Empire. Borno has a diplomatic relationship with the then world power, Turkey, all these will definitely boost the tourism industry and other related sectors if developed” He said.
Speaking during the training, Professor Khalifa Dikwa, maintained that the Lake Chad Region, especially Borno and Yobe are prominent places that should be valued for their rich heritage while appreciating the efforts of the government, he said more work needs to be done.
“Borno is a home of historical legacy. Researchers from Germany and other western countries are eager to come and explore more historical legacy. With the support of the government, research institutions, non-governmental organisations, traditional institutions, and other stakeholders, international, local, and national monuments will be discovered.
“We have presented several papers in relation to the potential of the region. Surely, collective efforts are going to be made in order to discover more historical heritage and monuments.” Professor Dikwa stated.
Reading his paper, Dr Zanna Hassan Boguma, explained that the Lake Chad Region, which consists of Borno, Yobe, and other places, is undeniably rich in natural wonders and fertile lands that can grow any seed planted.
According to him, over forty million people are currently benefiting from the waters that flow through the region, he said the oldest canoe in Africa, Dafuna Canoe, was discovered in Yobe State.
He appealed to the government, traditional institutions, and other stakeholders to work together so as to explore the plenty of ancient monuments and heritage that spotlight the importance and inherent values of the people and create economic opportunities for the states of Borno and Yobe.