Sao Tome and Principe’s ratification of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH), in 2005, has just been the first step into a much larger reflection on the construction of a national cultural policy. Within the frame of a capacity-building project in selected Portuguese speaking African countries (including also Angola and Mozambique) funded by a generous contribution of the Kingdom of Norway to the ICH Fund, Sao Tome and Principe is now about to welcome a UNESCO training-seminar on strengthening national capacities for an effective safeguarding of its intangible cultural heritage.
The project is timely, since the government is now ready to launch a wide reflection on the issue of culture and to raise awareness about the preservation of the country’s cultural heritage, especially the intangible heritage.
The most urgent need is to build knowledge on the concepts and mechanisms of the 2003 Convention, and to assist Sao Tome and Principe in developing the institutional framework required to effectively implement the Convention in a long term.
The project will therefore focus on strengthening key stakeholders, establishing a national ICH committee and setting basis for the elaboration of a national strategy for safeguarding ICH.