EYEAFRICA TV: Barra, THE GAMBIA:- The Gambia has on Thursday marked
African World Heritage and World Museum Day at a ceremony held at Barra in North Bank Region.
The historic event was graced by various dignitaries together with students of Mbullum Ahmadiyya Senior Secondary School.
This year’s theme, which highlights culture, arts and heritage in the continent’s development, is inline with African Union’s 2021 theme of Arts, Culture and Heritage Levers for Building the Africa We Want.
It underlines the role of African culture and heritage in furthering the development of Africa’s distinctive identity and economy.
However, if African heritage is to play this role, a concerted effort is needed to adopt more integrated and inclusive approaches to its protection.
Speaking on be half of UNESCO, the senior programme officer at Gambia National Commission for UNESCO, Lamin Jarjou said the day is an opportunity for people around the world, and particularly Africans, to celebrate the continent’s unique cultural and natural heritage, thus reaffirming UNESCO’s willingness to preserving cultural heritage.
“UNESCO is committed to spearhead international efforts to draw on the
vast potential of Africa’s cultural and natural heritage as a force for poverty reduction and social cohesion as well as a driver of sustainable development and innovation,” he said.
Through this international day, he continued, UNESCO aims to “increase global awareness of African heritage, with a special focus on youth and to mobilize, enhance cooperation for its safe guarding on the local regional and global level.”
The Director General of National Arts and Culture, Hassoum Ceesay underscored the significance of the day.
‘’World Museum Day is like a worldwide celebration to put focus and attention on museum throughout the world,” he said.
According to him, African world Heritage Day was set aside by UNESCO to pay special focus on UNESCO site properties in Africa, and “since 1972 UNESCO convention on world heritage, every year some few heritage sites in the world are designated as UNESCO designated site after a very lengthy rigorous process.”
To the lady counselor of Lower Niumi, Michelle Mendy, the event is a remembrance of the past and how slaves were been treated.
“So is very important to us that it is celebrated in our region, there was a time we have been neglected and it is evident even by looking at it the place,” she said, adding, “Today is a very big occasion that everyone should know that this place is not been neglected now. Today reminds us of our ancestors.’’
African World Heritage Day was established during the UNESCO General Conference in 2015 to increase public awareness of the immense value and potential of Africa’s heritage.
In close collaboration with the African World Heritage Fund and other
partners, UNESCO is providing support to countries, site managers, heritage professionals and local communities to encourage the conservation, management, and promotion of African heritage.
They are also working to apply new technologies to help in safeguarding
World Heritage, as well as in the reconstruction, monitoring, surveillance
and promotion of cultural and natural heritage sites.