A mission of the ECOWAS Department of Education, Science and Culture, led by the Acting Commissioner, Mamadou Traore, has visited Monrovia and had an audience with the Liberian authorities as part of advocacy for the return of African cultural property to their countries of origin.
The first audience was granted by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Liberia, Henri Fahnbulleh, and discussions centered on the role of the Foreign Affairs Ministry in the ratification of international texts on cultural heritage, including the 1970 UNESCO Convention and the 1996 UNIDROIT Convention.
The Minister affirmed his country’s commitment towards the ratification of the texts. During a meeting with the Minister of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism, Ledgerhood Rennie and the Deputy Minister of Cultural Affairs and Tourism, Lance Gbagonyon, the discussions centered on the legal framework of the cultural heritage and the steps underway for the ratification of the 1970 UNESCO Convention and the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention.
The Liberian Information Minister and the ECOWAS Acting Commissioner for Education, Science and Culture agreed to convene a stakeholder workshop to create awareness and encourage ownership of the conventions and the ECOWAS 2019-2023 Action Plan for the Return of Cultural Objects to their Countries of Origin.
They further agreed on the need to develop domestic tourism by setting up a cross-border tour between Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.