Science And Conservation Of Cultural Heritage (SCCH)
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. ASDPN International 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.