A Regional Conference and Ministerial Roundtable to strengthen synergies for the protection of cultural heritage in Eastern Africa and the adjacent Indian Ocean Islands is to take place in Port Louis Mauritius, from today 18 to 20 July 2017.
This conference will gather over 70 participants from the ministries of Culture of the 13 countries covered by the UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa, including Rwanda. Other countries are mainly Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.
Directors of Heritage, Museum Directors and cultural site managers are also invited to share experiences, innovative practices and policies in the region, by also revising UNESCO key normative instruments, such as the UNESCO 1954 Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and its two Protocols (1954 and 1999).
The UNESCO 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, and the UNIDROIT 1995 Convention on stolen or illegally exported cultural objects will also be analysed.
The last day of the conference will include a Ministerial Roundtable, which will issue a joint-statement indicating priorities for safeguarding cultural heritage nationally and internationally.
Rwanda will be represented by the Council of Rwanda in Mauricius, replacing Ambass, Robert Masozera, Museums Directors who was appointed by Ministry of culture, but who is not available due to work matters.
Moreover, Rwanda has already sent a notice on information to share. This include, according to Ambass. Robert Masozera:
Four memorial sites of genocide have been proposed to UNESCO to be part of World heritage. These are Murambi in South, Bisesero in West, Ntarama in East and Kigali. Irina Georgieva Bokova, UNESCO chairwoman agreed on this proposal, on her visit to Rwanda last May. She said these sites will serve to fight genocide ideology across the world.
Rwanda has today 8 museums, while there was only one before 1994. These include:
Ethnographic Museum located at Huye district (South)
National Art Gallery located at Nyanza-Rwesero(South)
King’s Palace Museum located at Nyanza-Rukari(South)
Presidential Palace Museum located at Kigali-Kanombe
Natural History Museum (Kandt House) located at Kigali-Nyarugenge
Museum of Environment located at Karongi (West)
National Liberation Park at Mulindi w’Intwari(Gicumbi-North)
Campaign Against Genocide Museum at Kigali (Parliament)
Rwanda has identified 141 cultural sites, added to more than 500 others to promote cultural tourism.
Rwanda has also the law and elaborated national cultural heritage policy to regulate, protect, manage and preserve cultural heritage all over the country.
Jean Baptiste Karegeya