Activities with Ghana
Ghana Counterpart Day
Partners: Ricerca e Cooperazione, University of Pavia, Ghana Museums and Monuments Board (GMMB), Netherlands Embassy to Ghana and the National Museum of Accra.
This counterpart day was organised as a round table discussion, held at the National Museum of Accra. The day was divided into two sessions for the participants to discuss vital issues around a central theme. The first session focused upon Mutual Heritage Cooperation Past and Present: looking at the lessons learned, the current issues, and evaluations of cooperative projects so far. The participants explored the strengths and weaknesses, success stories, shared experiences as well as exploring future ways to cooperate in the future on joint/cooperative projects.
The second session was focused upon discussions of conservation and enhancement of mutual cultural heritage in fostering sustainable development. The participants explored the opportunities and potential of Ghanaian-Dutch heritage for sustainable tourism and poverty reduction, both locally and nationally. They then discussed current and future challenges in the field, as well as ways in which to proceed in the future to progress.
The conclusions of the day stated that it is important to have collaboration between stakeholders who should be involved with the projects from start to finish, in any project. There must also be collaborative efforts in order to forge better partnerships between the countries. This will help to ensure the establishment of tourism development infrastructure e.g. road networks, accomodation, human resource development. Youth training was also highlighted as an important aspects, in order to increase ownership and local identity.
Some photographs from the Ghana Counterpart Day
From left to right: Participants at the Ghana Heritage Day, keynote speaker Gijs van der Ham of the Rijksmuseum, Display at the Heritage Day.
Pre-Visit to Ghana
In July 2012 representatives from CIE visited Ghana in order to lay the groundwork for the Ghana Counterpart Day scheduled for February 2013, and to raise awareness about the upcoming heritage day in September 2012.
Our representatives visited a number of sites along the coast including Accra, Elmina, Cape Coast and Axim, in order to gain insight into the Ghanaian-Dutch heritage cooperation projects. The visit was also intended to find local counterparts and partners to organise the heritage days with. Meetings were held with the Ghanaian Museums and Monuments Board (GMMB), the Public Records, Archives and Administration Department (PRAAD), Ricerca e Cooperazione, the National Commission to UNESCO, and the University of Ghana.
They discussed important themes relating to shared heritage, its practical application, international cooperation and policies. The themes and issues which came up during these meetings were used as ideas and topics for the upcoming heritage day in Amsterdam 2012, and also for the Ghana counterpart day in 2013. The outcomes of these discussions and meetings were presented to the Dutch government in order to improve future cooperation policy.
Ghana Heritage Day
Partners: Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
This event was organised in Amsterdam, bringing together heritage professionals working in and with Ghana, in order to exchange experiences and knowledge on projects and activities in the field of cultural heritage.
There were three themed sessions:
1. Heritage Awareness and Community Engagements
2. Diaspora, Migration and Slavery
3. Mercantile Heritage
This was an expert meeting designed to provide the opportunity for professionals to discuss and reflect upon the cooperation over the past years, as well as to stimulate general discussions on shared heritage. A common feature at all of CIE heritage days is the inclusion of many completed, running and proposed projects on Ghana, advertised as part of a large poster presentation. This gives the participants the opportunity to promote and visualise their projects, as well as giving others insight into their work.
The aims of all of CIE's heritage days is to improve connections between projects and partners, bring experts together and discuss issues on heritage activities, in order to make them more sustainable for the future.
It is important for heritage professionals to regularly reflect upon our work and critically analyse the results and processes. It is only through discussion and such reflection that we can improve our joint projects and build upon what we have started in the future.
There were a number of conclusions which could be drawn from the day's discussions and debates. Language was highlighted as an important tool with which to strengthen community engagement and to raise awareness about cultural heritage. This is particularly relevant when investigating material such as archives, which are predominantly written in Dutch, meaning that translations or language classes are required for the Ghanaian people to be able to read them.
It was also stressed that the inclusion of economic, educational and capacity-building benefits are important in order for communities to support the project initiatves more. It was continually stated that the local community should be involved in these processes, but that the local people wished to feel the benefits of these heritage activities and are more likely to support projects which stimulate positive spin-off effects in the area.
Cultural Heritage Connections
Partners: Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Education, Culture and Science
This project was developed within the framework of shared cultural heritage. It was decided to establish an interactive online database regarding shared heritage cooperation with the priority countries. This would benefit current and future heritage cooperation through the provision of one central platform where information could be found detailing all past, current and proposed projects could be found, along with information about the experts and organisations involved. The users can share information and interact with the cultural heritage connections community, thereby creating a common resource tool.
The platform aimed to unite expertise and knowledge of projects in one central location and was set up in close contact with experts and organisations who participate actively in determining the contents of the platform. It was designed by CIE to be a tool for the heritage field, for governments and researchers, allowing them to add information and search for heritage projects and potential partners.
CIE made an inventory of the international heritage activities carried out abroad and within the Netherlands, which fell under the Dutch Mutual Cultural Heritage Policy. All the heritage projects within a specific country were inventoried and placed into a database, to be integrated into the platform. For each of the priority countries CIE organised two heritage days, one in the Netherlands and a counterpart day in the respective country, these were effective ways to not only raise the profile of the database and gather data but also to discuss the current state of heritage cooperation between the two countries and explore possibilities for the future.
The Cultural Heritage Connections platform was developed and built by CIE and is now managed by Dutch Culture.
To visit the database please click here
In 2013 CIE finalised our research report as a summary of all our work surrounding the Cultural Heritage Connections programme. The report concentrates on defining the positive and the 'bottlenecks' in current cultural heritage cooperation, formulating conclusions and recommendations for the priority countries. The report was the final step in the completion of the information for the database, with conclusions highlighting the successes and areas for improvement, as well as an overview of the involved experts, organisations and projects within the Netherlands and the Priority Countries.
Through this Cultural Heritage Connections Database CIE has had the opportunity to actively expand its network of contacts and partners for future cooperation. As a network organisation it was our mission to make this network available to an international field. CIE hopes that through this database we have further stimulated professionalism and international collaboration in the field of mutual heritage.
Cultural Heritage Connections Launch
Duration: June 2011
In 2011 CIE organised an International Heritage Cooperation Event, which was attended by over 100 international and national heritage experts. The hightlight of the day was the launch of the Cultural Heritage Connections platform. It was officially launched by the Director of Cultural Heritage at the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the Coordinator of Culture, Sport and Development at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Representatives of international heritage organisations, museums, universities and national agencies discussed strategies and inspirational methods for international cooperation on cultural heritage. A panel of international and national heritage experts then discussed and debated if, or why, colonial heritage can become common ground for international cooperation.