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Flanders funded project on Intangible Cultural Heritage draw to a close with a stock-taking workshop, in Gaborone, Botswana on 10-12 May 2011

The project aims at conducting a series of pilot workshop on Intangible Cultural Heritage inventory-making at a grassroots level in six Sub-Saharan African countries

The Mafitlhakgosi Traditional Song and Dance Group.jpg The Flanders funded project has achieved its main aim which was to conduct a series of pilot workshops on Intangible Cultural Heritage inventory-making at the community level in six Sub-Saharan African countries, namely Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Uganda, Swaziland and Zambia.

Since April 2010, various community based capacities building workshops on inventory-making took place in all the above mentioned countries. This was followed by the several months of the actual inventorying activities. The project was concluded in the national debriefing meetings that took place in the late 2010 and early 2011 to review in-depth, the experiences of the field activity, challenges faced and how they were alleviated. The final, workshop of the project took place in Gaborone, Botswana on 10-12 May 2011. The objective of the meeting was to take stock of past activities and to make recommendations for an immediate as well as mid-term follow up.

The workshop brought together 32 national coordinators and experts from the Botswana, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Uganda and Lesotho, two regional experts (UNESCO Consultants in the project), members of the local community in Botswana participating in the project as well as UNESCO Culture Specialists from the following Offices Harare, Nairobi, and Windhoek. National coordinators presented a timeline with implementation phases, achievements particularly focusing on the community involvement, overall outputs in the form of inventories produced, challenges encountered as well as actions undertaken to mitigate them. Immediate follow-up activities ware also formulated, as well as recommendations for the longer term follow up on national level and regional (e.g. Southern African Development Community; East African Community). The workshop:
  • gave the participants an understanding of how the same process of community based Intangible Cultural Heritage inventory-making was carried out in different country settings;
  • offered a platform for national coordinators as well as other stakeholders to share their experiences; and
  • proposed various follow-up activities

    This closing workshop can be considered a success as all involved unanimously agreed on the importance of the community based inventorying in the overall framework of the Intangible Cultural Heritage safeguarding and stakeholders are determined to further develop the inventorying process and extend it towards the policy and legislative national settings of each country. Follow link for workshop report:

    The project in its entirety brought about the following results:
  • national inventories in 6 concerned countries amounting to 141 elements inventories according to the provisions of the 2003 Convention;
  • 37 communities involved and trained in inventorying procedures.

    In an immediate follow up the following were the nominations files for 2003 Convention representative and urgent safeguarding lists:
  • Lesotho submitted one nomination file on the Intangible Cultural Heritage in need of Urgent Safeguarding list called ‘Letsema - a Sesotho word which describes a traditional partnership of the coming together of villagers to accomplish a heavier task that would take a single person days to complete’.
  • Botswana submitted three nomination files under Intangible Cultural Heritage in need of Urgent Safeguarding list:
  • Tiriso ya Moropa wa Bojale jwa Bakgatla ba Kgafela (The Use of Moropa wa Bojale jwa Bakgatla ba Kgafela and its Associated Practice)
  • Mmino wa Dikopelo tsa Sekgatla (Traditional Folk Music of Bakgatla ba Kgafela)
  • Kitso ya go Bopa Dinkgo tsa Sekgatla (The Skill of Traditional Clay Pot Making in the Kgatleng District)
  • Zimbabwe submitted the following:
  • Mbira for the Representative List. Mbira is a traditional music instrument.
  • Ingubhamazwi for the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Urgent Need of Safeguarding list. Ingubhamazwi is multi-coloured poncho. The idea is to safeguard the skills of producing the poncho particularly the tie and dye aspect.

  • Participants from the workshop.jpg
    Author(s) UNESCO Office Windhoek
    Source UNESCO Office Windhoek
    Website 1 (URL) Website of the Intangible Cultural Heritage
    Editorial Contact: Ms. Helvi Elago
    - Email h.elago@unesco.org
    Publication Date 06 Jun 2011
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    Updated:06-06-2011 1:11 pm