27.06.2011 - Culture Sector

UNESCO, CHDA and the National Museums of Tanzania Team up for Museum Training

Entrance to Village Museum in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania ©K. Monteil/UNESCO

From 14 to 25 June 2011, over 30 museum professionals from national and community museums across Tanzania participated in an intensive two-week training course on museum and collections management at the Village Museum in Dar es Salaam. Led in Kiswahili and English by Mr Peter Okwaro, Coordinator for Movable Heritage at the Centre for Heritage Development in Africa (CHDA), in collaboration with Mr Emanuel Lucas, Lecturer at the University of Dodoma, and Dr Paul Msemwa, Director of the Museum and House of Culture, the training was financed by UNESCO with support from the National Museums of Tanzania.

The UNESCO-ICOM training manual “Running A Museum” was used as a reference for the training. The UNESCO “Cultural Heritage Protection Handbook” series was also distributed to all participants, who learned about the role of museums and the historical background to collecting, the development of museums in Tanzania and the world as well as international standards for inventory, documentation, conservation, exhibition development, security, risk management, visitor services and community and educational outreach. Theory was mixed with hands-on training and field visits to the new National Museum of Tanzania and the Museum and House of Culture in Dar es Salaam as well as to the Catholic Museum and heritage sites in Bagamoyo.

The opening ceremony included opening remarks by Mr Jackson Kihiyo, Director-General of the National Museums of Tanzania, and a keynote address by Dr Costancia P. Rugumamu, Chairperson of the Board of the National Museum of Tanzania. Dr. Rugumamu asked the participants to take the knowledge they learned back with them and share it with their colleagues. She stressed the importance of experiences like this training to acquire the knowledge needed to successfully manage their museums and collections.

“UNESCO is committed to building capacity among museum staff in Africa through technical training courses such as this one,” said Ms. Karalyn Monteil, Desk Officer for Africa in the Museum Section of UNESCO’s Culture Sector. “This professional training provided a unique opportunity for museum staff in Tanzania, with varying levels of specialization and from diverse types of museums, to come together to share their experiences and to learn the latest international standards for collections care. We are grateful for the dedication of the trainers and the enthusiasm and motivation of the participants.”

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