SCIENCE AND CONSERVATION OF CULTURAL HERITAGE (SCCH)
“I’ve got to where I am in life not because of something I brought to the world but through something I found – the wealth of African culture.”
Hugh Masekela, Trumpeter, Flugelhornist, Cornetist, Singer and Composer
Africa remains a continent of enormous wealth and diversity. The greatest wealth of the African continent has been without doubt its rich cultural diversity which has shaped the continents history and development for centuries. The contribution of African culture to global development can’t also be over emphasized. However, international information about the contribution of Africa to the diversity of world culture has been missing and where available grossly insignificant. Popular knowledge of Africa has rather been associated with poverty, hunger, wars and strives. Indeed the continent is plagued by a seemingly endless cycle of poverty, hunger, wars and strives but the key in breaking this cycle is more investment of time, energy and resources in culture. In pursuing and achieving the Sustainable Development Agenda in Africa, the element of culture remains central as such must be effectively integrated as a fourth pillar in addition to social, environmental and economic sustainability. The problem is it has not been given sufficient attention despite popular calls for the inclusion of one specific goal devoted to culture or the integration of cultural aspects across the SDGs. Even worse is the fact that the vast majority of cultural heritage scattered across the continent are under serious threats with a high possibility of disappearing unless urgent actions are taken to reverse this trend. Culture is the foundation of Africa’s development a threat to culture will automatically constitute a threat to sustainable development efforts in Africa. The Science and Conservation of Cultural Heritage (SCCH) programme will thus focus on exploring innovative ways through which science and technology can contribute in the protection and conservation of Africa’s very delicate cultural heritage. The programme will also aim at strategically using culture as a tool of advancing the Global Goals for Sustainable Development in Africa. Given that if food security, education, sustainable consumption and production, peace and inclusive societies, including economic growth must be a reality in Africa come 2030, then culture must be given a pride of place. Africa Science Diplomacy and Policy Network under this programme will place culture at the heart of development policies in Africa as an essential investment in the continents future and as a precondition to successful regional integration and globalization processes that work for the advancement of sustainable development.
The Africa Science Diplomacy and Policy Network (ASDPN) will at all times and across all social levels work vigorously to ensure that gender issues are taken in to consideration when examining, developing and implementing policies to address Science and Conservation of Cultural Heritage issues around the continent.
- Communities will easily acquire deep and profound practical knowledge on the Sustainable Development Agenda and an ability to relate with its tenets.
- Cultural factors including the knowledge, traditions and practices of African communities will be integrated in to sustainable development plans and actions.
- There will be increased access to information about Africa’s contribution to global cultural diversity.
- Africa’s centuries old cultural relics and values will be preserved.
- Programmes that work for the preservation and spread of traditional knowledge and practices will take hold especially among young people.
- A link will be established between educational policy and cultural policy in Africa.
- There will be increased understanding of the relationship existing between grass root cultural processes and social innovations.