UNESCO and AWHF bring together African World Heritage site managers and local communities for entrepreneurship training
In May 2014, forty participants, including site managers and local community representatives from World Heritage sites in Africa, participated in two separate “Entrepreneurial Training Workshops for World Heritage” in Ghana and Senegal, coordinated by the African World Heritage Fund (AWHF) in partnership with the World Heritage Centre, UNESCO Offices in Accra and Dakar, the Ecole du Patrimoine Africain (EPA), and the Centre for Heritage Development in Africa (CHDA) with funding from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Governments of Senegal and Ghana, the AWHF and the UNESCO Office in Windhoek.
The Ghana workshop was held at Cape Coast Castle which is part of the Forts and Castles, Volta, Greater Accra, Central and Western Regions World Heritage site from 19 to 30 May 2014 with support from the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board, and included 20 participants from: Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia. The opening ceremony featured interventions by Dr. Zagba Oyortey, Executive Director of Ghana Museums and Monuments Board; Mr. Yusuf Abdallah Usman, Director General of Heritage and Museums in Nigeria; Mr. Nakanta George Ufot, Director of Culture, Federal Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation of Nigeria; Mr. Gaogakwe Phorano, Director of National Museum and Monuments in Botswana; Mr. Webber Ndoro, Director of AWHF; Mr. Kassim Omar, Director of CHDA; and Ms. Karalyn Monteil, representing the Africa Unit of the World Heritage Centre.
The Senegal workshop for francophone participants was held at Saloum Delta World Heritage site from 12 to 22 May 2014 in partnership with the Direction of Cultural Heritage in Senegal. Twenty site managers and community representatives from Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Gabon, Madagascar, Mali, Senegal and Togo participated in the workshop. The opening ceremony featured interventions by Mr. Abdoul Aziz Mbaye, Minister of Culture and Heritage of Senegal, and the Ambassador of Spain to Senegal, H.E. Ms. Cristina Diaz Fernandez-Gil.
Both of these workshops are part of an ongoing programme financed by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to address the priority areas identified in the Action Plan (2012-2017) from the Second Cycle of Periodic Reporting for the Africa region. The programme consists of a number of activities, including training workshops on entrepreneurship. The Second Periodic Report identified the need to facilitate beneficiation activities for communities living in and around World Heritage properties. The goal is to have communities deriving socio-economic benefits from the heritage resources, which will improve the livelihoods of communities as well as ensure sustainability of the heritage resources. As such, the involvement of communities in conservation creates opportunities for heritage awareness and development of sustainable tourism activities.
This workshop is part of a 3-part entrepreneurial programme to identify business opportunities and to develop successful entrepreneurial ventures at World Heritage sites in Africa. The Programme consists of 3 parts: a 10-day workshop; a 5-month mentorship phase; and a 20-day field project.
Through participating in these training workshops, the participants have gained knowledge and skills in the various aspects of strategic business planning and entrepreneurship. Business and entrepreneurial opportunities were documented by participants on the host sites with a view to extending the practical knowledge gained to their own site. Lastly, a network for communication and professional exchange was established for heritage professionals and local custodians.