Approaches to African heritage management and conservation

  • Author: Shadreck Chirikure
  • Topic: Heritage studies
  • Related Congress: 13th Congress, Dakar

Few would doubt that as is stands, heritage management in Africa is framed
within a western derived construct. This has had two effects, one beneficial
and another one negative. On the beneficial one, African heritage management
profited from the global developments that were taking place in the
discipline. However, these international best practices were sometimes embraced
at the expense of local practices of heritage management which were
challenged for being unscientific. In fact, most legal instruments on the protection
of heritage do not recognize traditional systems of management. African
heritage managers have been slow to correct this disjuncture. It was
only after global trends in heritage management were realigned towards engaging
traditional systems that choruses on their incorporation into the mainstream
started to be heard in Africa. Whilst this is inescapable given the lack
of resources on the continent, it is of fundamental importance that African
heritage managers should try and develop approaches informed by the local
practice which will also feed into the international standards. Rather than
continuing to rely on imported solutions, African heritage managers should
invest more energy towards developing practices informed by the African

Back to search