In December 2014, Mr Samuel Kidiba was elected Director of the Ecole du Patrimoine Africain (EPA – School of African Heritage) by its Board of Directors. He took office on 20 January 2015 for a term of four years. Mr Kidiba is the third Director of EPA since its creation and is the first to come from Central Africa (Republic of the Congo).
A graduate of Cultural Heritage Management from Senghor University in Alexandria, Egypt, Samuel Kidiba has dedicated his career to the conservation and enhancement of African cultural heritage, beginning with his position as Director of the Ecole des peintures de Poto-Poto in Brazzaville (1998-2001). From there he became Director of Cultural Heritage and Development, Director of the National Museum, and Director-General of Heritage and Archives at the Congolese Ministère de la Culture et des Arts. He took care of national policies on the management, protection and promotion of sites (archeological, cultural and natural); departmental museums; national languages; traditional architecture and the ancestral practices of the people of Congo. Over the last 12 years, he has been involved in bilateral and multilateral cooperation and the development of training and management activities for the Ministry’s staff. In parallel to his duties at the Ministry he has continued to teach at the Faculty of Arts and Human Science in the University of Marien Ngouabi in Brazzaville. He is also the coordinator of the Research Group on the Suundi (GRSC), an ethnic group of Congo.
He was also involved in rehabilitation projects (for example, the Mâ Loango Museum at Pointe-Noire, Republic of the Congo) and he is a member of several professional associations such as the Comité scientifique de l’Organisation Africaine de la Propriété Internationale (OAPI) on the protection of traditional knowledge, folklores and genetic resources, the International Council of African Museums (AFRICOM), and the Association pour la PROmotion des Langues Africaines (APROLAF). His publications include, Définition et portrait du nzonzi dans la culture kongo, spécificité et universalité (Editions l’Harmattan, 2010) and also “Les mets traditionnels : un enjeu sociologique et identitaire au Congo” for a CEPROD volume on Enjeux de l’alimentation, crise financière internationale et nouvelles perspectives pour le Congo-Brazzaville (Editions HEMAR, 2009).
Samuel Kidiba knows EPA very well, as he has participated in and contributed to several activities in ICCROM’s AFRICA 2009 programme. During his mandate, he aims to develop a regional cultural project with his team at EPA in which entire heritage practices that are able to boost integrated and sustainable development will be highlighted. There will be a specific focus on women and youth.
ICCROM congratulates him for his nomination and wishes him all the best for his mandate.