Senegalese communities at the heart of inventories of intangible cultural heritage

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The Ministry of Culture of Senegal and the UNESCO Office in Dakar organized from 15 to 22 October 2018 a capacity-building workshop on community-based inventorying of intangible cultural heritage at the Blaise Senghor Cultural Centre in Dakar. 15 stakeholders including directors and associates of regional cultural centres and key actors from the cultural field took part in this eight-day training facilitated by an international expert.

Opened by the Minister of Culture of Senegal, Mr Abdou Latif Coulibaly, this workshop aimed to strengthen national expertise to better safeguard and transmit the living heritage in the entire Senegalese territory and to sensitize national and local stakeholders to the importance of community involvement in safeguarding processes. As stressed by the international facilitator of the workshop, ‘it is necessary to identify in order to safeguard. Inventories are a required step in the ICH safeguarding process. It is also important to ensure the widest possible participation of communities, which create, maintain and transmit this heritage and to actively involve them in its management’.

This activity marked the launch of an 18-month national endeavour funded by the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund through the International Assistance mechanism of the Convention. At the international level, the project also serves as a pilot International Assistance project in which all activities are jointly implemented by a State Party and UNESCO.

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