The demonstrations that took place at the beginning of June in Senegal resulted in the deterioration and the destruction of several important archival collections, in particular those of the Arts Faculty (Faculty of literature) at Dakar University.
The signatory institutions deplore the loss of archives that are essential not only to guaranteeing the rights of staff, teacher-researchers and the graduation of students at the Faculté des Lettres in Dakar, but also to understanding the history of higher education and research in Senegal and more widely in West Africa.
They would like to take this opportunity to reiterate the importance of effective archive management, not only to ensure good governance and accountability of organizations, but also to attest to the rights of individuals and corporate bodies and to preserve the memory of populations and scientific research.
They therefore call on all stakeholders in Senegal, and especially the public authorities, to do everything in their power to ensure the protection of the country’s archival heritage. They draw particular attention to the need to protect the National Archives. Under extremely difficult conditions and inadequately secured, these archives strive to preserve a shared heritage, in particular the archives of the General Government of French West Africa, listed in UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register. Putting them in jeopardy would risk an irreparable loss for Senegal, West Africa and humanity as a whole.
The signatory institutions offer their full support to the Senegalese archival community.