The National Centre for Arts and Culture (NCAC) in collaboration with German investors from the University of Hamburg, funded by Gerda Henkel Stifitung, on Wednesday inaugurated the national digital collection for the NCAC.
The main objective of the event is to make the oral traditional records of the NCAC accessible to the entire world through the internet hence the wider world would be given the opportunity to access over 5,000 audio records accessible ranging from pre-colonial, colonial to post-colonial days.
The NCAC is a semi-autonomous institution established by an Act of Parliament in December 1989 to preserve, promote and develop Gambian arts and culture. The 1989 Act is now superseded by the NCAC Act of 2003. The NCAC Act inter-alia provides for a governing board of eight members to control the management, property, business and funds of the centre.
Speaking at the event, the Chairman Board of Directors, Owhotu Victor, expressed delight on the inauguration of the national digital collection, noting that the initiative will definitely go a long way in making the NCAC’s dreams coming true. He added that people in the modern generation are modernising and having access to the oral traditional records through the internet which has come at the right time.
‘’The Gambia is rich in terms of culture and traditions and there is a lot that the outside world needs to know about its cultural heritage hence the younger generation as well should be aware of the past history of the country,’’ he said, while thanking the German investors for the support and corporations.
For his part, the representative of the German investors, Henning Schreiber said the NCAC performing such duty is a responsibility and is related in the research and development of arts and culture not only in The Gambia but to the larger world as well.
He urged the NCAC to make the best use of the international cooperation, noting that as time goes on more initiatives would be on board for the Centre.
Dr. Katrin Pfeiffer of the NCAC expressed delight, saying the Centre is charged with the administration of The Gambia Copyright Act 2004 and that the said Act mandates the establishment of the copyright office under the centre and an independent body called The Gambia Collecting Society charged with the collection and distribution of royalties on behalf of rights holders.
At the end of the event, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the NCAC and the German investors.
by Awa Gassama