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The Technical and Advisory Committee of the Great Museum of Africa (GMA) held their 6th Meeting Virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In July 2016, the Executive Council of the African Union approved the establishment of the Great Museum of Africa to be located in Algiers as a Flagship Project of Agenda 2063 in its 1st Ten Year Implementation Plan (EX./CL/921 (XXIX)).
The virtual meeting was attended by distinguished Members of the Technical and Advisory Committee of the Great Museum of Africa representing Algeria, Cameroun, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria and South Africa. Esteemed Resource Persons, representative of the African World Heritage Fund (AWHF) and Independent Cultural and Heritage Experts and Representatives of the Diplomatic Mission of Algeria in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and from AU Commission (AUC) were also in attendance.
The main objectives of the virtual meeting were to review and discuss the following items:
The status of the project of the GMA and presentation of the survey on the public consultation of the GMA; The status of the clearance of the Host Agreement between the AUC and Algeria on the GMA; Operationalization of the GMA temporary site and launch of the continental exhibition in 2021 at Villa du Traite; and The draft statute of the Great Museum of Africa (GMA).
Mrs. Cisse Mariama Mohamed, Director for Social Affairs delivered the opening remarks on behalf of H.E. Mrs Amira Elfadil, Commissioner for Social Affairs of the African Union Commission. She started by thanking all the Technical and Advisory Committee Members, resource persons and independent experts for their continued contribution and engagement in the process of the establishment of the Great Museum of Africa thus far and also for their participation and availability to participate in the Virtual 6th Technical and Advisory Committee Meeting. “As per the work achieved in your 5th Meeting, the Comprehensive Project Document to establish GMA has been completed and it incorporated inputs from various stakeholders and processes. I believe the information collected through the public consultation will add value to the project establishment mainly its operationalization and it will also provide wider ownership of the project by the AU Member States and Pan-African Cultural Institutions”, said Mrs. Cisse Mariama Mohamed. The Director of Social Affairs called upon the members of the Technical and Advisory Committee to look carefully into preparations for the 1st continental exhibition which will be hosted by Algeria at the Villa du Trait (the temporary site of the Great Museum of Africa), and plan accordingly to ensure that the exhibition is launched in 2021 as part of the year of arts, culture and heritage whose theme has been approved by the Executive Council as: ‘Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want’.
Mrs. Cisse Mariama Mohamed concluded by expressing sincere gratitude to all who have tirelessly worked to make sure the Great Museum of Africa (GMA) documents are completed and ready for the realization of this Agenda 2063 Flagship Project.
The opening session of the virtual Meeting was also addressed by Mrs. Nawel Dahmani, Chairperson of the Technical and Advisory Committee of the GMA and Chairperson of the Meeting, who thanked the AU Commission for organizing the 6th Meeting of the Technical and Advisory Committee of the GMA and welcomed all Members to the virtual meeting. She further acknowledged the progress made by the Advisory Committee for the establishment of the Great Museum of Africa (GMA) despite the difficult conditions created by the COVID-19 Pandemic in 2020. She concluded by wishing fruitful deliberations.
The Meeting was presented with the data collected from the public consultation on the Great Museum of Africa which highlighted the following: Knowledge of the concept of the GMA and its main feature including its vision and mission; its governance structure; communication and marketing strategy. The Meeting called for a wide dissemination of the survey link including social media networks to allow for popularization and dissemination of the Great Museum of Africa concept. The public consultation will be opened until the end of December 2020.
Concerning the Draft Statute of the Great Museum of Africa, the Meeting reviewed its second draft and made very pertinent and concrete inputs which will be included into the draft for further review during the 7th Meeting of the Technical and Advisory Committee of the GMA to be held in March 2021.
With regards to the clearance of the Draft Host Agreement between the African Union Commission and the Government of Algeria, the Meeting called upon the AU Commission to finalize the clearance of the Agreement to enable its signature as by the two (2) by December 2020.