- Recalling Chapter V of the Convention and Chapter I of the Operational Directives,
- Having examined Document ITH/15/10.COM 2.BUR 5 as well as file No. 00912,
- Takes notes that Togo has requested international assistance to inventory, safeguard and promote the skills involved in manufacturing and playing traditional Togolese musical instruments. Pilot phase in Maritime Region, south Togo:
The last general inventory of the intangible cultural heritage, drawn up in 2011, revealed some important principles and skills that had not yet been adequately documented; more intensive efforts to introduce and implement safeguarding measures are therefore required. A major gap in the inventory included the skills needed to manufacture and play traditional musical instruments and for their accompanying dances, for which certain communities, including the villages of Yohonou and Amégran (south Togo), had called for the implementation of a safeguarding strategy. Indeed, the viability of the majority of these musical practices and the skills involved in manufacturing the instruments are at risk because the custom of handing them down to the next generation is under threat. As a result, there has been a gradual decline in the traditional dances performed and instruments played during traditional ceremonies. The project's main aim is therefore to safeguard and promote the skills needed to manufacture and play traditional musical instruments in the communities by ensuring that the practices associated with them live on. It will allow an inventory to be compiled, with a focus on describing and categorizing these instruments, the manufacturing process, and their socio-cultural functions. The process of compiling the inventories will involve young people from local communities who will be specially trained in community-based inventorying. The project's findings will be recorded using audiovisual media and in an illustrated index for use by researchers and other participants. A local exhibition documenting these cultural activities as well as cultural events will also be organized in the region. All these initiatives will serve as a basis for developing measures to safeguard and propagate these skills and practices. The project will also introduce activities designed to inspire communities to pass on customs from generation to generation by ensuring that skilled community members help to train the young instrument makers and musicians. This project represents a pilot phase and its results will be used as a basis to develop a project across the country.
- Further notes that this assistance concerns support for a project carried out at national level aimed at the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage, in accordance with Article 20 of the Convention, and that it takes the form of the granting of a donation, in line with Article 21 (g) of the Convention;
- Also takes notes that Togo requested an allocation of US$ 24 950 from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund for the implementation of the project;
- Decides that, from the information provided in file No. 00912, the request responds as follows to the criteria for granting international assistance given in paragraphs 10 and 12 of the Operational Directives:
- Decides to approve the request for international assistance from Togo to inventory, safeguard and promote the skills involved in manufacturing and playing traditional Togolese musical instruments with the pilot phase taking place in the Maritime Region, south Togo (No. 00912) for an amount of US$ 24 950;.
- Takes notes of the positive experience of the technical assistance provided to Togo in finalising this request, and invites the State Party to capitalize on the skills of the staff who directly benefited from the assistance;
- Welcomes the caution shown by the State Party in starting with a pilot phase and encourages it to share its experiences and results at the end of the project with the international community and any other interested countries;
- Further encourages the State Party to develop a long-term safeguarding plan with the communities involved using the findings of the project and to revitalise the National Committee for Intangible Cultural Heritage through staff trained within the framework of the project;
- Requests the Secretariat to reach an agreement with the requesting State Party on the technical details of the assistance, paying particular attention to the detailed budgeting of the activities to be covered by the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund;
- Invites the State Party to use the ICH-04-Report form when reporting on the use made of assistance provided.