A UNESCO Memory of the World Training Workshop for the Africa Region was held in Windhoek, Namibia from 16-18 October. The workshop was organized by the Korean National Commission for UNESCO, the Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea, and the Namibia National Commission for UNESCO.
The objective of the workshop was to increase awareness of the significance of documentary heritage in the Africa region and to assist countries to prepare their applications for nomination to UNESCO registers.
The workshop bought together representative from nine countries in the Africa region. The countries represented were Gambia, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Sudan and Zimbabwe.
Mr Rod April the Secretary-General of the UNESCO National Commission of Namibia chaired the opening ceremony which included a performance from a Namibian cultural group. Speakers included Dr Ellen Namhila, pro vice-chancellor of the University of Namibia, author and former member of the International Advisory Committee. Mr Kwangho Kim the Secretary-General of the Korean National Commission spoke about the importance of documentary heritage as “the legacy of the past for our world community and a legacy for future generations”. He also thanked the co-organiser, the National Commission of Namibia. Mr Ehrens Mbamanovandu the head of the UNESCO education sector in Namibia also spoke.
Ms Veno Kauaria a leading Namibian librarian and archivist gave the keynote address and noted the importance of having African documentary heritage recognised on UNESCO Memory of the World registers.
The participants learned about the Memory of the World Programme including the work done by MOWCAP in the Asia Pacific region and were supported by five Memory of the World experts.
The formal presentations from the experts were as follows:
- Overview of the UNESCO Memory of the World Programme (Joie Springer, member of the international Register Sub-committee, former UNESCO Programme Specialist of the Memory of the World Programme)
- The Importance of Regional Committees – MOWCAP as a Case Study (Dianne Macaskill, member International Advisory Committee, Vice-chairperson MOWCAP, Chair New Zealand National Committee)
- Nominating to a Register ( Rujaya Abhakorn, member of the international Register Sub-committee, member of the MOWCAP Register Sub-committee)
- Importance of World Significance-Case Studies (Professor Kyung-Ho Suh, former member of the international Register Sub-committee)
- How to Use the Register Companion (Roslyn Russell, past chair of the International Advisory Committee, member of the international Register Sub-committee, Chair Australia National Committee)
After the formal presentations the participants had time to develop their nominations for inscription on a Memory of the World register.