The Gambia reaffirms its commitment to safeguard its living heritage

Photo group taken at the launch event
Photo group taken at the launch event
© UN The Gambia

The beginning of the UNESCO project ‘Capacity Building for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage and Contribution to Sustainable Development in The Gambia’ was celebrated early April at the National Museum of the Gambia in Banjul. This voluntary contribution by France to the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) Fund will allow for in-depth training of stakeholders involved in safeguarding ICH, in collaboration with the National Centre for Arts and Culture (NCAC) of the Gambian Ministry of Tourism and Culture, and with the UNESCO office in Dakar. This event is the result of several months of sensitization, planning and mobilization, marked by the context of the pandemic.

The training activities will enable local actors to strengthen their knowledge of the 2003 Convention and to introduce them to methodologies for participatory inventories, as well as to the development of safeguarding plans and measures. These will be organized in close collaboration with national institutions and will ensure the involvement of local communities from the seven administrative regions. A communication strategy will also be put in place to give visibility to the project, with the production of catalogs, videos and a public database listing the elements of the national inventories.

The opening ceremony was marked by interventions from the Minister of Tourism and Culture, the UN Resident Coordinator in the Gambia, and the Director of the UNESCO Regional Office for West Africa-Sahel. A working meeting was then held to bring together the culture team of the UNESCO Office in Dakar, representatives of the 2003 Convention Secretariat, the NCAC team, and heritage communities and professionals from all regions of the Gambia.
This initiative reinforces the efforts undertaken by the Gambia in the field of safeguarding ICH with the support of UNESCO, and this since the country’s ratification of the Convention in 2011. It is also part of a broader national drive to strengthen the protection and safeguarding of its cultural heritage.

UNESCO is pleased to see the increased mobilization of the Gambia in the safeguarding of its living heritage.

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