National Museums in Africa brings the voices of African museum professionals into dialogue with scholars and, by so doing, is able to consider the state of African national museums from fresh perspectives.

Covering all regions of the continent, the volume’s thirteen chapters allow for a deep and nuanced understanding of the intricate interplay between past and present in contemporary Africa. Taking stock of the shifting museum landscape in Africa, with new players like China and South Korea challenging the conditions of cultural exchange, the book demonstrates that national museums are being rediscovered as important sites of political engagement and cultural negotiation. This is the first book to critically examine the roles national museums in Africa have played in the societies in which they are situated, but it is also the first to consider the roles that national museums might play in current debates concerning the restitution and repatriation of cultural patrimony taken from Africa during the colonial era.

Informed by a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective, this ground-breaking book will appeal to anyone interested in museums in Africa. It will be particularly useful to scholars and students working in the areas of museum and heritage studies, African studies, anthropology, archaeology, history, art history and cultural studies.

chapter |16 pages


Regarding national museums in Africa
ByRaymond Silverman, Peter Probst, George Abungu

chapter Chapter 1|21 pages

Visibility, democracy and the national museum network in Morocco

BySamir Kafas, Ashley V. Miller

chapter Chapter 2|18 pages

The Sudan National Museum and national heritage in Sudan 1

ByAbdelrahman Ali Mohamed, Geoff Emberling

chapter Chapter 3|17 pages

National identities and the National Museum of Ethiopia

ByMerkeb Mekuria, Raymond Silverman

chapter Chapter 4|20 pages

National Museums of Kenya

From inception to the post-devolution era
ByRosalie Hans, David Mbuthia

chapter Chapter 5|17 pages

Collecting obsolete things at the Uganda Museum 1

ByDerek R. Peterson, Nelson Abiti

chapter Chapter 6|17 pages

Korea and the New National Museum in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Building a museum, building relations? 1
ByAugustin Bikale Mukundayi, Sarah Van Beurden

chapter Chapter 7|12 pages

Le Musée des Civilisations Noires

A continuous creation of humanity
ByHamady Bocoum, El Hadji Malick Ndiaye

chapter Chapter 8|20 pages

The National Museum of Mali, 1960–present

Protecting and promoting the national cultural heritage
ByMary Jo Arnoldi, Daouda Kéita, Samuel Sidibé

chapter Chapter 9|16 pages

Le Musée National Boubou Hama du Niger

A return to research
ByMaki Garba, Amanda Gilvin

chapter Chapter 10|16 pages

Giving the National Museum of Ghana a new life 1

ByKodzo Gavua, Dominic Dekumwine Kuntaa

chapter Chapter 11|15 pages

The Nigerian National Museums and the challenges of national unity and development

The Black Benz and the return of lost treasures
ByOkechukwu Nwafor, Edith Ekunke

chapter Chapter 12|18 pages

Toward a critical history of the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe

Rethinking pastness and materiality
ByMunyaradzi Elton Sagiya, Joost Fontein

chapter Chapter 13|20 pages

Rethinking the national and the museum at Iziko Museums of South Africa 1

ByBongani Ndhlovu, Ciraj Rassool

chapter Coda|11 pages

National museums in Africa

A conversation
ByPeter Probst, George Abungu