|| UNESCO Director-General visits the Ecole du Patrimoine Africain
15 June. The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, visited the Ecole du Patrimoine Africain (EPA - School of African Heritage) on 9 June during an official visit to Benin. EPA, created in 1998 by ICCROM and the University of Abomey-Calavi (UAC), is a regional training organization dedicated to the conservation and promotion of cultural heritage in 26 French, Portuguese and Spanish-speaking sub-Saharan countries. It develops training activities in the areas of rehabilitation of historic places, mediation, information and projects linking culture and development.
The Director-General was accompanied by a large delegation including Ms Lalla Aicha Ben Barka, Assistant Director-General for the Department of Africa, UNESCO; Ms Robertine Raonimahary, Director of the Division of Cooperation with Member States and Organizations, Department of Africa, UNESCO; Ms Mariama Saidou-Djermakoye, Deputy Director, Executive Office of the Director-General, UNESCO; Mr Tirso Dos Santos, Officer in Charge, UNESCO Office in Accra; H.E. Professor Olabiyi Joseph Yai, Ambassador of the Permanent Delegation of Benin to UNESCO; Mr Eric N'Dah, Minister of Preschool and Primary Education in Benin and President of the National Commission to UNESCO; Mr Jean-Michel Abimbola, Minister of Culture, Literacy, Handicrafts and Tourism, Benin; Mr Allassane Soumanou, Minister of Secondary School and Technical Training, Benin; Ms Fatoumata Djibril, Minister of Family, Benin; and Mr Max Ahouéké, Minister of Communication of Benin.
This is the second time a Director-General of UNESCO visits EPA, the first having taken place under the direction of Mr Koïchira Matsuura in November 2002. This recent visit was an opportunity for the Director of EPA, Mr Baba Keita, to present the mission and activities of EPA, and also bring attention to the challenges and current issues facing the conservation of African heritage. A meeting with cultural actors, academics and heritage professionals from Benin was also held to discuss these topics. The Director-General was able to present the guidelines and vision of UNESCO in this area, and she expressed her interest in the work of EPA and her commitment to continue and deepen the collaboration begun by her predecessor.
18 June, 2012