Inventorying intangible cultural heritage for peace in Côte d’Ivoire

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Zaouli popular music and dance of the Guro communities in Côte d’Ivoire
© UNESCO Abidjan

Between 2015 to 2019, UNESCO granted emergency international assistance of US$299,972 to prepare an inventory of the intangible cultural heritage present in Côte d’Ivoire. This project, implemented by the Ivorian Cultural Heritage Office and the Directorate for Cultural Heritage, allowed to train more than 400 people in the preparation of inventories with the participation of communities; to identify and inventory 800 elements of intangible cultural heritage; and to support the process of revising national legislation.

The inventory enabled to initiate a national strategy for the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage aimed at creating synergies among the various stakeholders, taking stock of the viability of the intangible cultural heritage and building capacities for its safeguarding.

The close collaboration undertaken between development actors, communities, cultural institutions and the Chambers of Kings and Traditional Chiefs, has made it possible to strengthen dialogue and social cohesion conducive to the building of lasting peace.

The experience of this project in Côte d’Ivoire contributed to the elaboration of operational principles and modalities for safeguarding intangible cultural heritage in emergencies endorsed by the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2019 (Decision 14.COM13).

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