The Yale Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage (IPCH) will host its inaugural physical gathering, aimed at supporting museums and cultural enterprises across Africa, from Tuesday to Friday at the Radisson Red Hotel in Rosebank, Johannesburg.
The Yale Directors Forum, IPCH’s premier international programme, is a global fellowship for museum and cultural institution leaders.
This unique project will create a dynamic network of senior executives, educational initiatives and strategic partnerships with universities and worldwide organisations.
Charlotte Ashamu, a well-known expert in the creative economy who has held significant roles at institutions such as the African Development Bank and the World Bank, is in charge of this undertaking.
Ashamu is the IPCH’s director of international programmes, leading the charge to increase the organisation’s global reach and public engagement.
Commenting on the initiative, Ashamu said: “We are excited to have our first gathering with distinguished cultural leaders who will be coming from different countries in Africa and the world.”
The programme will also host speakers such as Mae-ling Lokko, architectural scientist, designer and professor at Yale University’s School of Architecture, veteran South Africa lawyer and human rights activist Albie Sachs, and Brent Leggs, founding executive director of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund.
Lekgetho Makola, the CEO at the Javett Art Centre at the University of Pretoria, said: “I am honoured and delighted to be one of the Yale Directors Forum fellows and to be a part of this impactful programme within the art and culture industry. I’m also excited to build on relations and welcome other fellows from various countries.
“Our mission is to serve global leaders who are dedicated to preserving and interpreting cultural heritage for present and future generations.
“A crucial component of this initiative is the launch of the Yale Directors Forum, a prestigious fellowship programme tailored to visionary leaders of museums, cultural centres, libraries, archives and heritage sites, all of which play an integral role in preserving cultural heritage for present and future generations.
“The 18-month programme offers a participant-centred learning journey featuring interactions with leading experts at Yale and across the globe, personalised executive coaching, and advisory services centred on the preservation and care of collections.’’
It is explained that in its first batch, IPCH has chosen 17 fellows from 12 African nations while prominent figures in this varied group include Kwame Akoto-Bamfo, a multidisciplinary artist and cultural activist from Ghana; Wanjiru Koinange, an award-winning writer and library restorer from Kenya; and Makhosi Mahlangu, a renowned chef, food entrepreneur, and expert in native foods from Zimbabwe.