On 21 April 2021, ICCROM held its first Africa Programme Donors meeting online, to present the Africa Fund and the Youth.Heritage.Africa programme. The meeting was attended by the former donors to the EPA Fund, created to support the activities of the École du Patrimoine Africain, as well as representatives of Member States and partners of ICCROM.
The ICCROM Africa Fund, established to support the activities of the new Youth.Heritage.Africa programme, is open to new Financial Partners.
In his welcoming remarks, the Director-General Webber Ndoro emphasized that Youth.Heritage.Africa is a joint initiative of ICCROM and its African partners: the École du Patrimoine Africain, the African World Heritage Fund, the African Union, UNESCO as well as ICCROM’s African Member States. Stressing the importance of investment and cooperation for achieving the programme’s goals, he invited the meeting guests to support it by joining the Africa Fund or by contributing directly to the programme.
What is Youth.Heritage.Africa?
Youth.Heritage.Africa was launched in 2020 to engage young people in the conservation and promotion of their cultural heritage. It combines capacity building activities with innovation and co-creation through spaces set up around the continent called “Heritage Hubs”. Despite the global pandemic, the new programme has already made remarkable progress implementing seven capacity building activities, organizing a webinar on youth entrepreneurship, and establishing Hubs in Benin, Senegal, Rwanda, South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Egypt.
Empowering a new generation of heritage advocates through the Africa Fund
Espéra Donouvossi, Programme Manager for Youth.Heritage.Africa presented the programme to the meeting participants.
Attendees included the Ambassador Christian Masset, Embassy of France in Italy, who asserted France’s support for ICCROM's commitment to preparing the next generation of heritage professionals in Africa. “We share the ambition of the Director-General Ndoro, especially with regard to the number of young Africans who will be able to participate in these training programmes, so we assure you of our full support and of our willingness to also cooperate in the field.” He underlined the value France places on cooperation with ICCROM, adding that “cooperation with ICCROM is absolutely essential, because ICCROM has accumulated experience, know-how, which is crucial for Africa for strengthening its capacities.”
In his intervention, the Director-General for Development Cooperation of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ambassador Giorgio Marrapodi commended Italy’s longstanding cooperation with ICCROM in fostering a development partnership with African countries based on cultural heritage and human capital. “Today we discuss the most valuable contribution that ICCROM can make to help respond to the aspiration of the African Union 2063 agenda. I am convinced that the Africa programme has a number of points of strength in its vision and structure, which can turn it into one of the pivotal multilateral initiatives in the framework of the development cooperation action in Africa on culture and youth,” Marrapodi said. “I encourage all donor and partners attending today to look at the ICCROM Africa programme in the way that it deserves: a special opportunity to support Africa in harnessing its potential and strengthening its future.”
Valerie Magar, Manager of the Programmes Unit, gave a glimpse of the Africa Fund governance system and invited the guests to support Youth.Heritage.Africa so that it can achieve its goals and objectives through sustained activities over a number of years.
The presentations were followed by a question-and-answer session. Representatives from Senegal, South Africa, Zimbabwe, UNESCO, British Council and Africa World Heritage fund expressed appreciation for ICCROM and this new programme, discussing its potential and possible development, and how to work together.
Download the presentations here.
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