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African Museums: The Challenge of Change

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UNESCO’s efforts to foster the development and improvement of museums in Africa have followed an uneven path, reflecting the unprecedented changes that have marked every aspect of African life over the past fifty years. The result is that today many Africans are calling into question the very notion of the museum itself, posing a challenge to received ideas that could have profound implications for museums the world over. For this reason we asked Emmanuel Nnakenyi Arinze, chairman of the West African Museums Programme (WAMP) to take stock of the situation and share his views on future directions. He has worked in Nigerian museums for twenty years and was the federal director of Museums and Monuments until 1991. In addition to his work at WAMP, he is also the director of the Heritage Consultancy Bureau and president of the Commonwealth Association of Museums. A member of ICOM and several other professional museum organizations, he is a consultant to ICCROM-PREMA in Africa. He has published articles in various international museum journals and co-authored the book, Museums and their Communities in West Africa, while another publication, Museums and History, is currently in press.

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: West African Museums Programme; Heritage Consultancy Bureau; and the Commonwealth Association of Museums

Publication date: 1998-01-01

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