The United Nations Visit the Restored Ussher Fort Slave Museum and Documentary Centre in Accra

The Ghana Museums and Monuments Board (GMMB) and the UNESCO Office in Accra organised a visit for the UN Country Team in Ghana to the Ussher Fort Slave Museum and Documentary Centre in Accra, which was rehabilitated with support from the Netherlands Funds-in-Trust (NFIT) and UNESCO, on July 10th, 2021, one month after the inauguration. 

Usher Fort is part of the Forts and Castles, Volta, Greater Accra, Central and Western Regions World Heritage Site, which was listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1979. 

Apart from Mr Abdourahamane Diallo, UNESCO Representative in Ghana, and Mr Ivor Agyeman-Duah, Acting Executive Director of GMMB, the guided tour of Ussher Fort was attended by several UN Representatives in Ghana, including Madam Angela Trenton-Mbonde, UNAIDS Representative; Dr Angela Lusigi, UNDP Resident Representative; Mr Adeniyi Ojuolape, UNFPA Representative, Madam Esther Kiragu, UNHCR Representative; Madam Ifeoma Esther Charles-Monwuba, UNOPS Representative; Dr Albert Touna Mama, IMF Resident Representative; and Mr John Keating, Resident Coordinator’s Office Strategic Planning Officer. 

Mr Bered Agyiri Sackey, Assistant Director of Monuments, remarked about the restlessness of the young in the area of Ussher Fort during the trip. He emphasised that the most unemployed young in the local community have a lot of energy and potential and that these resources need to be used for the community’s benefit. Mr Abdourahamane Diallo stated that it is vital to consider ways to involve youth in the preservation of their community’s cultural heritage. He also asked UN agencies to work together to address the myriad issues that the Forts and Castles, as well as the people surrounding them, face. Youth, infrastructure restoration, education and information transmission to school curricula, and vocational training are all areas where UN agencies including UNFPA, UNOPS, UNICEF, ILO, UNDP, and UNHABITAT may help. Such collaborative efforts would be consistent with the United Nations’ Delivering as One philosophy. 

In Ghana, the United Nations Sustainable Development Framework 2018-2022 acts as a guide for planning and implementing UN development operations that complement Ghana’s national goals and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with culture and sustainable tourism playing a vital role. COVID 19 wreaked havoc on this industry. COVID-19: Impact on Culture and the Creative Sector | The United Nations is in Ghana, and it needs all the help it can get to get back on its feet. Similarly, aspiration 5 ‘Africa with a Strong Cultural Identity Common Heritage, Values, and Ethics’ is championed by the African Union (AU) in Agenda 2063 Goals & Priority Areas of Agenda 2063 | African Union, the museum’s activity contributes to the agenda for Culture and Heritage in 2021. 

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