|Thematic Seminar: Communication in conservation of inmovable cultural heritage sites in Africa
22 - 26 October 2007
- AFRICA 2009 Programme
- National Office of Museums, Ministry of Culture and Communication, Mauritania
Duration: 22 - 26 October 2007
Place: Nouakchott, Mauritania
17 communication and cultural heritage professionals, and decision-makers from the following 13 countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Comores, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Rwanda and Senegal.
The aim was to debate the main challenges linked to safeguarding and promoting Africa's cultural heritage with communications and heritage experts and opinion leaders, in order to identify the means needed to improve communication regarding the heritage. It had the following specific purposes:
- to take stock of the places for communicating heritage in the countries and institutions represented there;
- to discuss the role, importance and contribution of communication in respect of the knowledge, conservation and sustainable development of the heritage;
- to define the challenges linked to communication, regarding, in particular, the cultural building heritage;
- to decide on innovative guidelines for action to improve communication/information addressed to different publics.
It was divided into three sessions: the first was devoted to presentations of national communication experiences, followed by a visit to the urban sites of the cultural building heritage, as the basis for the discussions. The second part consisted of a round table enlarged to include the authorities responsible for culture, tourism and traditional Mauritanian communicators. The third was reserved for group work, to enable the seminar attendees to identify the problems, the key issues, avenues and solutions, as well as the most appropriate strategies to help the African countries improve communications regarding the building cultural heritage.
At the end of the seminar the following concrete proposals were made in relation to three major issues identified as key points in the national presentations, the visit to the site and the round table:
- The need to draft a well-argued case to be put to decision-makers and the various players involved in heritage management, to improve communications on the cultural building heritage in Africa. This case should be based partly on the main thrusts of the Africa 2009 programme. A document entitled the 'Noukchott Appeal' was drafted to be put to the cultural authorities;
- the need to define relations between heritage professionals and communicators in order to improve the protection and promotion of heritage sites;
- the need to propose the outlines and principles of a dynamic communication policy to assist and accompany the institutions responsible for the management of the cultural building heritage in Africa.
27 December, 2007