LAGOS-As part of the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) of the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), Lagos, it has emphasised the need for the introduction of Yoruba Language as one of the vehicles of communication for national development.
The programme, which was held at the ancient Mapo Hall, Ibadan, yesterday, was in collaboration with the Oyo State Government, Odu’a Investment Company, DAWN Commission and the United Nations Association of Nigeria.
While speaking at the event tagged: “Launch of SDGs Yoruba Language and targets,” the UNIC Director in Nigeria, Mr. Ronald Kayanja, noted that Yoruba Language, being the third widely spoken indigenous language in Africa, which he said was estimated that more than forty million people speak the language, was not well ascribed its place of pride in the international community.
Speaking further, Kayanja disclosed that language was an important treasure for human beings’ lives that was added to the identity and culture.
He maintained that: “Language brings people together and especially one’s mother tongue is an enabler of effective communication.”
“The United Nations recognises the importance of recognising and protecting our mother languages as our heritage.”
“Studies have concluded that children who start learning in their mother languages have better learning outcomes,” he opined.
Kayanja stressed that the UN General Assembly has put emphasis on the use of people’s native languages to communicate important messages that enables them to live together in peace and prosperity.
“We want to see a world free of poverty, hunger, disease and want, where all life can thrive. We envisage a world free of fear and violence. A world with universal literacy. A world with equitable and universal access to quality education at all levels to health care and social protection, where physical, mental and social well-being are assured, ” he declared.
Kayanja concluded that that the occasion should be the start of a mass mobilisation to achieve the goals among the Yoruba speaking people, while expressing appreciation to the state government, the United Nations Association of Nigeria and other stakeholders who have made the event possible.
Speaking on behalf of the state government, the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Toye Arulogun, stated that the translation of the SDGs into yoruba language would serve as catalyst towards achieving the UN goals by the proposed 2030.
Mr. Arulogun said the Oyo State Government had keyed into the sustainable development goals as part of its commitment to improving the welfare of people of the state.
The seventeen SDGs and one hundred and sixty-nine targets launched in Yoruba indeginous Language demonstrated the scale and ambition of the new universal agenda, which sought to build on the Millennium Development Goals and complete what they did not achieve.
Similarly, it sought to realise the human rights of all and to achieve gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls.