Progress in implementing an eight-country capacity-building project in the Arab States and Africa

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Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Madagascar, Palestine, South Sudan and Sudan have successfully completed needs assessments in the field of intangible cultural heritage. Through onsite national consultations, each of these countries identified opportunities and gaps in the institutional and professional environment for effective safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage and mapped out the next steps for strengthening their national capacity. The urgent needs range from setting up adequate institutional infrastructures, mobilizing all stakeholders, developing policies and legislation, designing inventory frameworks and methods and undertaking other safeguarding measures as required.

UNESCO is presenting the assessments and plans to interested donors in the form of project proposals in the coming months, thereby hoping to move quickly from the assessment to the project implementation phase. In the spirit of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, the proposals foresee the inclusion of all the national counterparts and communities concerned in the context of larger sustainable development frameworks.

With the financial support of the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Cultural Authority in the United Arab Emirates, this initiative is part of the UNESCO capacity-building strategy to reinforce the safeguarding of living heritage. It is implemented by four UNESCO field offices in close cooperation with the national authorities and the support of the 2003 Convention Secretariat.

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