The French Grand Sites Network and its International Training and Exchange Centre for Francophone Heritage Sites Managers organized recently an “Exchange Workshop on management and valorization of paleo-metallurgical sites”. From the 20th to the 24th of May 2013, this workshop gathered sixteen managers of patrimonial sites and paleo-metallurgical experts of Western Africa and France.

Iron metallurgy in western Africa is more than 3 000 years old, with diverse and universal techniques, and an outstanding heritage, and challenged by preservation and valorization issues. To preserve this heritage, expertise and knowledge and know how on iron must be enhanced and supported.

Continuing this workshop, an exchange network for managers of African iron sites and scientists (MetalAfrica) is developing to allow to share experiences and expertise and allow the exchange of information on research, preservation, management and valorization. The web platform MetalAfrica would be launched in 2014.

You will find herewith the summary document of the Exchange Workshop on management and valorization of paleo-metallurgical sites of May 2013.

The outcome of this workshop will be the participation of the Burkinabe and Malian sites managers in the next training session organized by the pôle international francophone “Building together the future of the heritage sites: developing and implementing sustainable management”, which will take place in Bourgogne next October. This will be the fourth edition of this international training session that has already welcomed 67 trainees from 33 countries under the aegis of the World Heritage Center of UNESCO.