Developing a Strategy for Safeguarding, Management and Promotion of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Sudan (2020-2029)

On 25 June 2020, the UNESCO Khartoum Office organized a webinar for releasing to the national discussion the drafted Strategy for Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage in Sudan for 2020-2029 with a participation of the main Sudanese ICH stakeholders, ICH professionals from UNESCO, and members of UNESCO’s ICH facilitating network from Morocco, Jordan, and Paris. The strategy was developed in frameworks of the project “Strengthening national capacities for safeguarding intangible cultural heritage in Sudan”, funded by the Department of Culture and Tourism in Abu Dhabi, the UAE, and managed by UNESCO and Ministry of Culture and Information in Sudan.

For developing the ICH strategy, the National Team was established in December 2018. The active work started in August 2019, and, during August 2019 - February 2020, after 2 national workshops and a set of expert meetings, the 1st draft of the Sudanese ICH Strategy was delivered in March 2020. This variant was based on the Country Background Report on ICH Sub-Sector in Sudan, which was released in October 2019.

The 1st draft of the Strategy was reviewed in March-April 2020 by highly qualified Sudanese and international experts, whose comments were integrated with releasing the 2nd draft of the Strategy in June 2020. The development areas for the Sudanese ICH sub-sector are settled as:

  1. Developing a safeguarding system
    1. Mapping existing resources
    2. Developing human resources
    3. Creating institutional partnerships
    4. Developing safeguarding institutions
    5. Developing international relations
    6. Revising and developing the legal and policy framework
    7. Fundraising
  2. Inventorying and understanding the ICH of Sudan
    1. Building a policy and tools for community-based inventories
    2. Conducting community-based inventories
    3. Documenting and researching ICH as a living heritage
  3. Supporting ICH bearers
    1. Developing and implementing community-based safeguarding plans
    2. Engaging ICH for peace, sustainable development and community-based resilience
  4. Promoting the ICH of Sudan
    1. Raising the profile of ICH domestically and internationally
    2. Incorporating ICH into Sudanese education

For each development area, the background, objectives, sub-objectives, performance indicators with baseline and selected target indicators are detailed.

The webinar resulted in accepting the current variant of the Sudanese ICH Strategy for presenting it for the validation workshop. In the meantime, the Strategy has to be widely disseminated among the national stakeholders.  

© UNESCO: Developing the Sudanese ICH Strategy for 2020-2029. Webinar for discussing ICH strategy. 25/06/2020.

Other components of the project, which have already well delivered, are:

  • The training program of 15 training workshops on intangible cultural heritage in different regions of Sudan and the capital, when it was delivered 1151 man-days of training sessions, including 516 man-days (45%) of women’s participation, and 772 man-days (67%) for culture professionals living outide of the Khartoum / Omdurman / Bahri metropolis.
  • The support for the Sudanese ICH Inventory, including development of the ICH Inventorying Policy, which was endorsed by the Sudanese National Council for Cultural Heritage and Local Languages Development; currently, there are 42 ICH elements in the Sudanese list.
  • The project visibility, which was ensured by disseminating 134 different media messages / records using different Sudanese TV channels, radio stations, and newspapers, as well as web portals. Visibility has also been enhanced with the use of logos on the events’ banners and other supporting events’ materials, as well as invitations (widely disseminated among different target audiences, such as Sudanese culture professionals, and the international community of employees of embassies and the UN).

In general, the project “Strengthening national capacities for safeguarding intangible cultural heritage in Sudan”, funded by the UAE, aims at strengthening human and institutional capacities for safeguarding ICH in Sudan, contributing to sustainable development of Sudan through effective implementation of the UNESCO 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the ICH, as well as promoting better visibility of ICH, awareness of its significance and function in society, while bringing communities closer together, ensuring exchange and understanding among them and fostering cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue and a culture of peace.