African UNESCO ICH policy expert meeting in Algeria attended by IFACCA

08 October 2015, Algeria

The UNESCO expert workshop on supporting policy development in the field of intangible cultural heritage, held in Constantine, Algeria, from 28 September to 2 October 2015, was attended by Ayeta Wangusa, IFACCA’s regional coordinator for Africa.

UNESCO held the workshop thanks to the generous support of the Algerian ‘National Centre of Research on Prehistory, Anthropology and History’ in Algeria (CNRPAH) and the ‘Manifestation Constantine, capitale de la culture arabe 2015’. The main objective was to improve UNESCO’s impact in providing policy support to national authorities in Africa for the effective implementation of the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The workshop also aimed at:

• Improving the content and format of the capacity-building programme to provide policy advice effectively.

• Equipping expert-facilitators with the knowledge and tools required to support policy development.

• Taking stock of the lessons learnt from implementing the global programme in Africa

The workshop primarily addressed UNESCO-certified facilitators from the Africa Region who have substantial experience in providing training and advisory services in the context of the global capacity-building programme for the effective implementation of the 2003 Convention. It also welcomed two experts with specialized expertise in the field of cultural policy advice, developed in the context of implementing the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. These were Ms Tojo Yharimanana (Madagascar), and Ms Ayeta Wangusa, Africa Regional Coordinator, IFACCA (Tanzania), both members of the UNESCO 2005 Convention’s expert facility.

Participation from the UNESCO side included Culture programme specialists from field offices in Africa, from Abuja and Nairobi, and from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Section. The CNRPAH designated Algerian experts who attended as observers. In total, the workshop brought together about 45 participants.

The first three days of the workshop were dedicated to the principal theme of policy development (28 to 30 September), while the last two days (1 to 2 October) focussed on reviewing the implementation of the global capacity-building programme in Africa to date.