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EPA is heir to the PREMA programme.

Prema logo 1986 - ICCROM (Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property) began the pilot phase of its PREMA programme, the first real programme for the safeguard of heritage represented by collections in African museums.

1990 - A survey of 61 museums in 46 countries revealed in most cases a dramatic situation in African museums. Entire collections were deteriorating without an appropriate response from staff. This meant that a large part of the history of humanity and our creative diversity were likely to disappear.

For 10 years several coordinated actions were undertaken with the aim "of establishing a network of African professionals able to ensure the preservation of African museum collections south of the Sahara and to organise the training of colleagues".

1998 - The PREMA programme evaluation meeting concluded that it had been a definite success; in less than 10 years it had, amongst others, achieved:

  • the training of a teaching force where the percentage of Africans rose from 5% in 1986 to over 80% in 1999,
  • the creation of an active network of more than 400 museum professionals in 46 sub-Saharan countries thanks to 30 international and national courses,
  • large-scale preservation work involving the national collections of Benin, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea (Conakry), Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
  • the mounting of eight exhibitions aimed at raising public awareness regarding the preservation of its cultural heritage.
    Epa logo
    History of the logo

11 November 1998 - In view of the PREMA success an agreement was signed between ICCROM and the National University of Benin by which the Ecole du Patrimoine Africain (EPA) - the School of African Heritage - was created.
PMDA Logo 2000 - ICCROM and the National Museums of Kenya created the CHDA (Centre for Heritage Development in Africa), in Mombasa, Kenya, on the same model as EPA, to cover English-speaking African countries.

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