WAMP was established in 1982 in Abidjan as a project of the International African Institute (IAI), under the initiative of the 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 Adandé, Professor at the National University of Benin, succeeded Dr Claude Ardouin as Executive Director.
In May 2001 Dr Boureima Diamitani, former Director of Cultural Heritage of Burkina Faso, was appointed Executive Director following the departure of Dr Adandé.
Over the years the West African Museums Programme (WAMP) has efficiently and effectively promoted museum development in West Africa. The cumulative effects of twenty three years effort have had a major impact on the professional museum community in West Africa and Africa as a whole. On the whole WAMP has done outstanding work promoting museum development and supporting museum professionals in West Africa and in the rest of the continent since its inception in 1982.
Museums are recognized within Africa as being a primary means of assuring cultural preservation and education. Because of its African base, its reputation, and its proven record WAMP is today a dynamic force in supporting museums and promoting the socio-cultural development of their communities in the coming decades.
WAMP acts as an intellectual partner to search for solutions, rather than imposing them on institutions. Its approach is flexible, in that it is not predetermined, but is designed to meet changing needs and contexts.
In its approach WAMP gives a particular attention to genuine relations of partnership in the conception and implementation of its programmes.
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