“African Heritage and the Pillars of Sustainability”

The heritage of mankind has become a key term since the transformation of World Heritage from a concept to protect the cultural and natural heritage of the peoples of the world to that of a commodity, used mainly for economic reasons. But what is heritage, and does heritage mean the same thing for all peoples in Africa, Asia, Europe or Latin America? How do the peoples of the world interpret their heritage differently, how do they protect it accordingly and what does heritage mean for Tanzania?

The UNESCO Chair in Heritage Studies, under the direction of Professor Albert (http://www.heritagestudies.eu/), within the framework of the International Graduate School: Heritage Studies (IGS) at Brandenburg Technical University Cottbus – Senftenberg, and in cooperation with the fahari yetu-Projekt at Iringa University in Tanzania held a joint summer school in July 2016 on the theme “African Heritage and the Pillars of Sustainability”.

The project was funded by the German Foreign Office, German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Gerda Henkel Stiftung.

In total, 15 master’s and PhD students attended the summer school, which was successfully implemented in Iringa, Tanzania from 25. – 31. July 2016. It addressed a number of fundamental questions that dealt with the protection and use of African heritage, with a specific focus on heritage in Tanzania and the Iringa region.

The goal of the 2016 summer school was to develop the skills and capacities of the participants in regard to the protection and use of heritage, as well as to develop skills for the sustainable management of African heritage in particular. For up-to-date information about the project, please visit the official website of the summer school at: https://heritagestudiesafrica.wordpress.com


Kagosi Mwamulowe, Sambia

„We have had many seminars on the theme ‘African Heritage‘. I would like to emphasize that this summer school progressed us much further.“

Akeem Bello, Nigeria

„Boko Haram is an important theme if one is to truly understand African heritage. I am glad that we could discuss it and its implications for sustainability.“

Webber N’Doro, Südafrika

„We need more of these forms and contents of further education and we thank the German experts for their critical commentary and scientific expertise.“

Babalwa Mgxekwa, Südafrika

„The summer school has motivated me to undertake my PhD study in Germany. Maybe I could receive a scholarship from the DAAD.“

Falres Ilomo, Tansania

„Discussions on African heritage must also include colonialization. In this summer school, we not only talked about colonialization, but we also focused specifically on religious colonialization.“

Cecylia Mgombere, Tansania

„The summer school gave me the opportunity to better identify both the tangible and intangible cultural heritage in Tansania. For that I am grateful.“

Kenneth Nyangena, Kenia

„This is the first time that we exchanged with international (African and European) experts concerning the living habits and needs of the Maasai people. I learned a lot.“

Makarius Itambu, Tansania

„A summer school that provides German and Tansanian cultural interpretations for the protection and use of heritage should be available more frequently. This will expand the knowledge.“

Musawa Musonda, Sambia

„So far I have been working at the World Heritage office in Sambia on protection concepts. Now I know that we are still only at the beginning of our scientific understanding.“

Obafemi Olukoya, Nigeria

„Through my studies at BTU-Cottbus, I learned to approach heritage with more in-depth scientific reflections than during my master’s degree. This is now very useful for me.“