‘Invest in heritage preservation’

BY: Loretta Abena Koema
Some documents at the Public Records and Archives Administration Department are fast deteriorating.
Some documents at the Public Records and Archives Administration Department are fast deteriorating.

The 49th annual conference of the International Association of Sound and Audio-visual Archives (IASA) has opened at the Institute of African Studies of the University of Ghana, Legon.

This year’s conference, which seeks to train more African audio-visual heritage practitioners is dubbed: “Access and accessibility; archival policies and barriers in the age of global information exchange”.

The IASA is a professional association concerned with the care, access and long-term preservation of the world’s sound and moving image heritage.
More than 150 delegates from across the globe were in attendance, including those who manage archives of all kinds such as musical and video recordings, history, literary works, folklore and ethnological sounds and image documents.

At the opening ceremony, an archivist at the J.H. Kwabena Nketia Archives, Institute of African Studies, and Chairperson of the Local Organising Committee, Mrs Judith Opoku-Boateng, said there was the need for Ghanaian archives to be preserved and protected for future generations.

Mrs Opoku-Boateng attributed the poor preservation of Ghana’s heritage to the government not having the passion for the country’s heritage for future generations.

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“Most documented heritage or culture of the country are decaying and are thrown away because of improper preservation,” she said.

“We have thrown a chunk of our audio-visual resources away, especially our film history, no proper preservation was done for it in the past. As a country, let us ask ourselves where historic Ghanaian films are? What kind of preservation measures has been put in place to keep the history of our heritage?” she questioned.

Mrs Opoku-Boateng also said budget allocation for heritage institutions were poor and that affected the effectiveness of the people who worked in those institutions.

“Government should invest in Ghana’s heritage preservation in order for future generations to have access to Ghana’s culture,” she stressed.