UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund supports revival of the Somalia National Museum

Official reopening of Somalia National Museum on 1 July 2020 ©Photo courtesy of the Permanent Delegation of the Federal Republic of Somalia to UNESCO

The UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund (HEF) is supporting the Somalia Ministry of Education, Culture and Higher Education with the revival of the newly rehabilitated National Museum in Mogadishu through administrative and management support, which will facilitate the Federal Government of Somalia’s efforts to integrate cultural preservation into the national peacebuilding process.

The National Museum of Somalia was established in 1933, but its building was severely damaged, its national collections were looted, and its staff members dispersed during 30 years of armed conflict.

The rehabilitation process was launched in 2019 and the National Museum was inaugurated by the President of the Federal Republic of Somalia on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the country’s Independence on 1 July 2020. Although the infrastructure of the building has been restored, the National Museum is in urgent need of key management and administrative structures, including the establishment of the Museum’s departments and the placement of staff members from the Museum Director and administrator to curators, conservators, and specialists in education and outreach.

The activity funded by the HEF will therefore support the Somalia Ministry of Education, Culture and Higher Education and the Somali National Commission for UNESCO with advisory services related to the basic administrative structure of the National Museum, which will enable the museum to begin to fulfill its mission as a functional museum in the service of society and its development, which is open to the public and which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits the tangible and intangible heritage of Somalia and its environment for the purposes of education, study and enjoyment.

Museums are vectors for peace-building and sustainable development. The support from the UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund will empower the Somalia National Museum to become a place for education, entertainment, inspiration, social interaction and reflection.
Ms. Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta, Director and Representative of UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Af
We wish to thank UNESCO and the Heritage Emergency Fund for supporting the Somali culture sector through this generous project for the National Museum.
Ms. Sagal Mahamed Ali, Somali National Commission for UNESCO.

The donors of the UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund include: the Qatar Fund for Development, the Kingdom of Norway, the Government of Canada, ANA Holdings Inc., the Principality of Monaco, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Republic of Estonia, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Slovak Republic, the Principality of Andorra, and the Republic of Serbia. For more information, please see: