By Yunus S Saliu
The National Centre for Arts and Culture (NCAC) with support from UNESCO held a one-day stakeholders’ meeting on the country report of the 2003 UNESCO Convention on Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH).
The meeting which attracted different stakeholders in the culture sector from across the country was animated by Malawian ICH expert, Dr Lovemore Mazibuko and was held in Banjul on Tuesday, 7th November 2023.
Speaking at the opening of this important meeting, Mr. HassoumCeesay, the Director General of the National Center for Arts and Culture (NCAC) explained that the Gambia ratified the 2003 UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2011 and since then the Gambia must report on the activities that the country has engaged in as far as keeping to the spirit and letter of the 2003 Convention are concerned.
He said the Convention concerns the protection of ICH like visuals, folklore, languages, customs traditions, and so on.
He explained that the Kankurang – Manding masquerade was inscribed into the UNESCO Intangible List in 2005 and since then the Kankurang Center was established in McCarthy Georgetown also the annual Kankurang Festival has been held annually since 2018, “It is a good indication of the Gambia efforts to make sure that the Intangible Cultural Heritage is fully protected.”
More so, he added that the various community Festivals with the current effort by NCAC working with support from Academy of African Languages of the African Union (ACALAN) to elaborate a policy on national languages which work has started in earnest.