The Government of Norway is one of the most significant supporters of UNESCO’s activities in the field of intangible cultural heritage, since it began supporting ICH projects in 2004/2005. The current cumulative contribution (2004-2008) of the Government of Norway for ICH through the FIT amounts to some 2 million USD, and more projects are awaiting to receive approval.
Norway ratified the 2003 Convention in January 2007 and thus also began contributing to the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund which is established under the 2003 Convention.
Sao Tome and Principe embarks on an intangible heritage safeguarding project01/06-10-2012, São Tomé (Sao Tome and Principe)
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.
Sub-regional workshop on the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage19/20-05-2008, Bamako (Mali)
- Bamako workshop on 2003 Convention
A sub-regional workshop on the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003) - www.unesco.org/culture/ich - took place in Bamako (Mali) from 19 to 20 May 2008. It followed the sub-regional meetings organized by UNESCO in November and December 2006 in Douala (Cameroon) and Dakar (Senegal).
Considering the growing interest for the Convention, the rapid development of its implementation and the fact that many States Parties to the Convention have already started preparing nomination files for inscription on the Lists of Intangible Heritage, it was considered timely to organize a workshop whose objective is to promote the Convention among African Non-States Parties, or in which the ratification process is underway, and to put emphasis on the various aspects of the implementation of this normative instrument.
Among others, the following themes were debated:
- the objectives of the 2003 Convention
- the rights and obligations of States Parties to the Convention
- the mechanisms of the Convention
- inventorying intangible cultural heritage
- the safeguarding measures of the intangible cultural heritage
- the inscription of elements of the intangible cultural heritage on the Lists
Contact in the UNESCO Office in Bamako: Vincent Seck (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sub-regional Capacity-Building Workshop on the Implementation of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage27/28-03-2008, Pretoria (South Africa)
- Minister of Arts and Culture of South Africa and the workshop participants in Pretoria, South Africa
The workshop was a follow-up to the sub-regional meeting that the Section of Intangible Cultural Heritage organized on the implementation of the 2003 Convention and ICH inventorying in November 2006 in Dar es Salaam. It is the first of a series of three to be organized for African states.
How can countries—and especially the communities among whom intangible heritage is found—best safeguard heritage that is living, not fixed in buildings or monuments? One effective tool to support international cooperation in such safeguarding efforts, and to strengthen national capacities, is the Intangible Heritage Convention. Adopted by UNESCO in 2003 and entered into force in 2006, this legal instrument had ninety States Parties at the moment of the meeting.
The workshop focused on introducing the Convention to cultural officials of southern African nations, explaining the ratification process, and considering with them how they might implement the Convention to best achieve its goals.
The workshop was made possible thanks to the financial support of the Government of Norway within the framework of the UNESCO/Norway Funds-in-Trust.
Co-organizer : Department of Arts and Culture (South Africa) : http://www.dac.gov.za/
- Media advisory (English)
- Meeting venue: Saint George Hotel, Pretoria, South Africa
- Agenda (English|French)
- List of participants (English|French)
Director of the Division of Cultural Objects and Intangible Heritage, UNESCO (English)
Minister of Arts and Culture of South Africa (English)
- Workshop document (English|French)
- Workshop report (English|French)
- Attachments of the workshop report (English)
Identifying Good Practices in Safeguarding Endangered Languages in Africa09/10-02-2007, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)
The second meeting organized in the framework of the “Capacity-building for safeguarding languages and oral traditions and expressions in sub-Saharan Africa” project brought together thirty experts from twenty-one African countries and representatives from university departments and national research institutions specialized in African languages.
The meeting focussed on concrete cases, examples and lessons encountered by African experts involved in recent activities relating to the safeguarding of endangered languages.
At the end of the session, a series of concrete recommendations for a future strategy for the safeguarding of endangered languages in Africa were drawn up. These recommendations will also contribute to UNESCO’s ongoing efforts to compile a Register of Good Practices in Language Preservation.
The project is funded by the Government of Norway.
Related programmes: Endangered languages
Joining forces for preserving Africa’s linguistic diversity23/25-03-2006, Bamako (Mali)
The Intangible Heritage Section, in close cooperation with the African Academy of Languages (ACALAN), has launched an initiative to promote African languages. The objective of the project is threefold:
- to strengthen the national and regional institutional capacities for language preservation (at African universities, national research institutes and in regional institutions),
- to promote south-south and north-south cooperation in Sub-Saharan Africa and
- to foster the implementation of national language policies, which are so often disregarded due to the lack of resources and trained specialists.
The project, funded by the Government of Norway, was based on a questionnaire-survey among over 80 university departments and research institutions working in the field of African languages in Sub-Saharan African. The survey allowed to establish a state of the art of their current activities in research and education, to assess major needs and to single out the main issues to be addressed by this project.
Based on these findings, a first expert meeting in Bamako, organized in closed cooperation with ACALAN, brought together about 50 linguists, representatives of the university departments, national and regional research institutions from all over Sub-Saharan Africa that participated in the UNESCO survey. The aim of the meeting was to provide a platform for exchange, to promote cooperation and to establish an optimal strategy and priorities for further action in favour of African languages.
Safeguarding of traditional music in Ethiopia01-2005/01-2009, Ethiopia
The project is composed of the following four activities.
- Identification, Documentation and Inventory making - An important goal of this project is to collect through fieldwork, and to document traditional music and dance expressions in different parts of Ethiopia.
- Archiving - the recordings collected in the field and the documentation that goes with them will need to be archived to make them available to researchers and to the public at large.
- Training and enhancing capacities - this is to contribute to the training of Ethiopian students and to the further empowerment of Ethiopian experts and specialized institutions. University-level courses on ethnomusicology, which, for examples, will heavily rely on references to Ethiopian traditional music and dance expressions, will be given at the Institute of Ethiopian Studies and at the Yared Music School (University of Addis Ababa).
- Promotion - The project aims to raise general awareness in the country, particularly amongst decision makers, about the existence, the beauty and value of the traditional music and dance expressions.
Organization of three sub-regional capacity-building workshops for Africa07-2007/12-2008,
The project (209 988 USD), co-funded by UNESCO regular programme, aimed at supporting the inscription of African intangible cultural heritage on the lists of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, through organizing the following three Capacity-Building Workshops for African states:
- Sub-regional Capacity-Building Workshop on the Implementation of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage for East and South Africa
- Sub-regional Capacity-Building WorksSub-regional workshop on the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage for West and Central Africa
- Capacity-Building workshop on the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage for the African States Parties to the 2003 Convention
Creation of a Living Human Treasures system in Nigeria05-2004/09-2007, Nigeria
Capacity-building in safeguarding African languages and oral traditions and expressions in Sub-Saharan Africa06-2005/06-2007,
This initiative to promote African languages aimed to:
- Strengthen national and regional institutional capacities for language preservation,
- Promote south-south and north-south cooperation in Sub-Saharan Africa, and
- Foster the implementation of national language policies.
- “Joining forces for preserving Africa’s linguistic diversity,” Mali, March 2006
The project funded the organization of the following two meetings:
- Joining Forces for Preserving Africa’s Linguistic Diversity
- Identifying Good Practices in Safeguarding Endangered Languages in Africa
The network-building, information sharing and peer training that took place at these meetings represent a major contribution to institutional capacity for language preservation in Sub-Saharan Africa. More concretely, the project resulted in:
- A database of all African research institutions in the field of languages, including their past work and current research priorities, which ACALAN will use to coordinate future efforts,
- New proposals for cooperation among the newly-established network of linguists, including a Pan-African Master’s and PhD Programme in African Languages and Applied Linguistics,
- Petitions sent to Heads of Universities and the African Union seeking support in the formulation of language policy, and
- African contributions to UNESCO’s ongoing Register of Good Practices in Language Preservation.