Seychelles and South Africa team up to protect and promote cultural heritage sites |25 February 2023
The Seychelles Heritage Resource Council of the Seychelles National Institute for Culture, Heritage and the Arts signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the National Heritage Council of South Africa yesterday at the Mayor’s Office in Victoria.
The MoU is to establish a cooperation between both parties in the fields of protection, preservation, promotion and management of natural and cultural heritage sites in Seychelles and South Africa.
The National Heritage Council of South Africa was represented by Dr Ndivhoniswani Lukhwareni and Khwezi Mpumlwana and the Seychelles Heritage Resource Council was represented by its chief executive Benjamine Rose.
Under this MoU both parties will undertake the promotion of activities related to preservation, protection and promote natural and cultural heritage sites in Seychelles and South Africa.
The specific areas of collaboration will include conference, seminars and workshops; skills development; development of standards and guidelines; development of infrastructure, educational initiatives, technical assistance and other areas of cooperation.
Ms Rose noted that it’s been 30 years since Seychelles and South Africa are collaborating through various bilateral cooperation.
“The main aim now is to establish an institutional structure between the two entities, whereby we encourage the exchanges of expertise and joint activities covering diverse aspects. Such collaboration will not only benefit the two establishments, but also make provision for both entities to engage with other agencies, both public and private, that are related to the purpose of heritage management and whose technical or economic cooperation is considered important for the greater success of future developments.”
Ms Rose added that the agreement creates space for international visibility through different media platforms and groups which will surely expand and spread our brand names to a wider audience both in Seychelles and South Africa.
Dr Lukhwareni said the signing of the MoU takes forward the very important discussions at the Joint Commission on cooperation between South Africa and the Seychelles in March 2019 and the various discussions held with the Seychelles Heritage Resource Council which concurred that the positive spirit of cooperation would be captured in and guided by a MoU.
“Many people would ask what is in it for South Africa and what’s in it for Seychelles. We collaborate, we share best practices. In September we host various cultural programmes and with this MoU we will be able to invite our counterparts to share practically what it is. In SA we are behind in cashing in from our heritage and culture. I am sure we will learn from Seychelles how to do that. Collaboration of this kind of heritage takes forward the vision of African Union heads of state that the heritage of African roads to Independence is the heritage of humanity and must be appropriately harnessed,” said Lukhwareni.
He further noted that in the collaboration, they will want to share the benefit of support they enjoyed from fellow African experts and diplomats when they struggled with the early phases of their own recently completed nomination known as human rights, liberation and reconciliation, Nelson Mandela Legacy Sites.
The signing ceremony yesterday was attended by the secretary general of the Seychelles National Institute for Culture, Heritage & the Arts, David Andre and principal secretary Cecile Kalébi.
Photos: Louis Toussaint