Gabon, Kenya and the Seychelles strengthen safeguarding efforts through International Assistance projects
|The promotion of traditional pottery practices in eastern Kenya|
© National Museums of Kenya
Through projects aimed at supporting communities in the identification, enhancement and safeguarding of living heritage, Gabon, Kenya and the Seychelles have made major progress in safeguarding the living heritage present in their country.
Gabon and the Seychelles have strengthened their legislative framework for safeguarding by developing a national plan to safeguard the living heritage of the Pygmy populations (Gabon) and by integrating cultural heritage into the national heritage law (Seychelles). In addition to these normative actions, concrete initiatives on the ground have improved the sustainability of living heritage in the three countries. From 2015 to 2019, an inventory of the intangible cultural heritage of the Pygmy populations in Gabon made it possible to highlight the diversity of the living heritage of the communities of the provinces of Haut-Ogooué, Ngounié, Ogooué-lvindo and Woleu-Ntem and to identify several practices whose viability is threatened. In eastern Kenya, the traditional pottery manufacturing practices of the Mbeere, Tharaka and Tigania communities were safeguarded and revitalized following a project implemented between 2016 and 2019, which strengthened their social functions while improving existing production techniques.
Communities and stakeholders in these three projects have benefited from training aimed at strengthening their capacities to safeguard living heritage, but also at ensuring the sustainability of the results obtained for the transmission of these practices. More than 100 people have been trained, including 40 young people and adults in pottery making in Kenya, and 30 people in the Seychelles and 25 people in Gabon in developing inventories with community participation.
Funded by the Convention’s International Assistance mechanism, these projects reflect the commitment of African countries and UNESCO to safeguarding living heritage in Africa. Since 2009, the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund has financed 40 projects in 21 countries in Africa for a total amount of $3,976,648 dollars.
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