West African Museums Programme (WAMP)

WAMP was established in 1982 in Abidjan as a project of the International African Institute (IAI), under the initiative of late Dr. Philip Ravenhill who was its first Executive Director. In 1987 WAMP was transferred to Dakar, Senegal with Dr Claude Daniel Ardouin, former Director of the National Museum of Mali, as Executive Director. In 1992 WAMP became an independent organization. This evolution from project to programme signified the increased complexity and importance of WAMP activities. In 1995 Dr. Alexis Adande, Professor at the National University of Benin, succeeded to Claude Ardouin. In May 2001 Dr Boureima Diamitani, former Director of Cultural Heritage of Burkina Faso, was appointed Executive Director.
WAMP became an independent organisation in 1996 and is the first African-based, non-political, independent professional organisation entirely devoted to private, community-based museums. WAMP successes over the past twenty years include 27 national projects and 18 regional workshops and seminars. WAMP is actively engaged in publication as well with seven major publications, the annual bulletin series, proceedings of seminars, and the WAMP video.

WAMP’s mission is to contribute to the development of museums in West Africa by strenghtening their capacity, developing a network of museums professionals beyond linguistic and geographical barriers.
WAMP organises seminars and workshops, and foster cooperation among african museum as well as link with the international professional network.
1. Developing Human Resource
Build practical skills of museum staff to meet clearly identified institutional needs
Promote new professional and methodological approaches
Facilitating Communication and Professional Exchanges
Collect, analyze, synthesize, and disseminate relevant information
Improve information access
Support the full range of professional relations within West Africa, throughout the African continent, and overseas
Providing Consultancy, Technical Assistance and Program Development
Provide consultation, facilitation, and execution services for donors, museums and related institutions
Provide technical support including assistance in program development by making available qualified resource persons and necessary equipment.
Securing Financial Support
Mobilize funds through investment and revenue-generating activities
Support financial self-reliance of museums
WAMP’s goal is to act as a driving force for the development of museums in West Africa by:
1. Developing best professional practice in the field of museums
Ensuring appropriate linkage between the activities/programmes of museums and the needs of society
Fostering cooperation with local communities to ensure a proactive involvement of populations in the management of African Cultural Heritage
Strengthening networking among musem professionals and ensuring their integration at the international level.

Mission and Objectives :
WAMP is non a govermental organisation who exists to stimulate the development of museums in 15 West African countries. As a Professional Organisation, its main objectives are :
– to stimulate the development of public and private museums in West Africa
– to promote good professional practice
– to help reinforce the network of museum professionals within West Africa and links with international professional network in the rest of the world
– to promote good professional museum practice
– to help museums be responsive to the problems and the needs of their societies
WAMP acts as a consultancy agency:
· organises seminars and workshops
· publishes a periodical (WAMP Bulletin)
· publishes proceedings, technical publications, etc
· provides technical assistance and in some circonstances, financial support for institutional programme
· stimulates the developement of training programmes and training sessions for museums personnel.

WAMP’s mission covers the following areas :
· the developement of human resources
· communication and professional exchanges
· consulting, technical assistance and programme development
· financial support
The cumulative effects of this twenty-year effort have had a major impact on the professional museum community in West Africa and Africa as a whole. The WAMP area of coverage includes:
Benin, Guinee, Niger, Burkina Faso, Guinee Bissau, Nigeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Cape Verde, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Gambia, Mali, Togo, Ghana, Mauritania.

From its experience, WAMP is convinced that cultural heritage preservation and education provides West African communities with a foundation to reflect and redefine their identity, to shape their future in a self-determined way, and to work out their own solutions.