Saturday, February 19, 2011

Cameroon: Culture Minister Ama Tutu pledges assistance to Buea Archives

By Christopher Ambe shu
The Minister of Culture has pledged to support the improvement and protection of the Buea Archives, which is an annex of the National Archives in Yaoundé.
The Buea Archives has not received enough attention from the government, users (researchers) hold.
Minister Ama Tutu(attired in green) in group photo at Buea Archives
Ama Tutu Muna made the commitment on February 18, 2011 during a working session with staff and friends of the Buea Archives, situated near Southwest Regional Governor’s office.
“I will see how to improve and develop the Buea Archives in the nearest future. My visit here is to take stock and see how to improve on the facilities. All cannot be done over night; but I think gradually we will be able to do it”, the minister told reporters, after being presented with the problems of the Archives
Ama Tutu Muna, who is the first culture minister to visit the Buea Archives in two decades, thanked the Association of Friends of Archives and Antiquities-Cameroon (AFAAC) for its sustained effort to keep the Archives in shape. The Buea Archives still exists thanks to the support and care of the AFAAC, an NGO
But the minister of Culture has now made public her determination to improve on its facilities.
AFAAC has as principal objective is the collection, preservation, restoration and promotion of development of archives, museums, monuments, historical sites and other antiquities of Cameroon, according to its president Professor Verkijika G.Fanso,who made speech at  ceremony.
“AFAAC was formed by a few Cameroonians and foreign friends who were particularly concerned  about the deplorable state of the Buea Archives that had been abandoned since 1972 and lay in ruins”, Professor  Fanso told  the visiting Culture Minister,
Professor  Fanso,  in his speech ,noted that AFAAC has been assisted  to reinstate Buea archives by many institutions such as the Dutch Embassy in Yaounde that funded the building  of some very huge shelves in the basement and restoration of a burnt room as well as the classification of thousands of documents that were rotting in heaps .He added that the British  High Commission gave a grant to complete the building of shelves and the German Embassy  supported the acquisition of humidifiers,photocopies,a computer and other equipment and the restoration of the Bismarck Foundation.
Professor Fanso hailed the minister for paying attention to Buea Archives, which at one time because of its state of abandonment, AFAAC had wished that it be placed under the custody of university of Buea.
He disclosed that some friends of Buea Archives such as Professor Jeff Good were engaged in “proposing a project to computerize and digitalize the most fragile documents of the archives.
“The Buea Archives need more computers and photocpiersand greater security. There is need for more humidifiers, heaters and other electrical installations”, Professor Fanso said, appealing that the Buea Archives be given the same status as the national Archives in Yaounde.

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