Within the framework of the France-UNESCO Cooperation Agreement, the French Ministry of Culture and the Director General of heritage for several African countries organized a week of meetings for directors of the francophone Sub-Saharan heritage areas in cooperation with the National Heritage Institute, the Musée du Quai Branly (a museum, research and educational centre located in Paris, France), the Centre of National Monuments, the Université numérique Francophone Mondik (which promotes Francophone distance education and e-learning), the International Council of Museums (ICOM) and the World Heritage Centre. This activity was held following the Second Cycle of Periodic Reporting in Africa exercise. Representatives of Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Congo, Mali, Niger, Democratic Republic of the Congo and the representative of the Economic Community of West African States participated in this week-long meeting.
The meeting began on 22 October 2012 with a workshop on “The Heritage of African Kingdoms and Empires: Between Public and Private Heritage” and was followed by four days of expert exchanges, meetings and debates with African professionals and French heritage institutes. It examined how modes of traditional management in today’s State governance systems are taken into account. 25 October was a day of reflection on the challenges and issues of conservation, management and valorisation of World Heritage in development and planning policies and the implications for local populations. The objective was to identify projects that could be developed within the framework of the France-UNESCO Cooperation Agreement.