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Burkina Faso ready for safeguarding living heritage throughout the country

Source: UNESCO

Burkina Faso ready for safeguarding living heritage throughout the country
Inventorying team of Soum © UNESCO

After six years of intense and fruitful collaboration between communities, the Directorate for Cultural Heritage of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, local governments, research institutions (University of Ouagadougou and the Institute of Sciences of Society), civil society organizations and media, Burkina Faso concluded a nationwide initiative aiming to inventory and promote its intangible cultural heritage, thanks to a financial assistance of US$262,000 from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund.

This major project enabled Burkina Faso to inventory around 1,300 living traditions practised by 60 ethno-cultural communities located in the thirteen regions of the country. This achievement was made possible thanks to the 276 persons – including 167 representatives from communities – who were trained in the community-based approach to inventorying advocated by the Convention. Participants trained now stand ready to assess the viability of elements of intangible cultural heritage and to devise appropriate safeguarding measures to facilitate the transmission of these practices from one generation to the next.

Through this project implemented in two phases, Burkina Faso laid the foundations of a sustainable framework for the safeguarding of living heritage in the country. Articulated around a national strategy for the establishment and regular updating of a national inventory, this framework relies on improved human capacities organized in a National Committee for Intangible Cultural Heritage and decentralized management entities at the local level.

Inventory database: Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Burkina Faso

International assistance: Inventory and promotion of intangible cultural heritage in Burkina Faso (2012)

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