Africa ProgrammeSustainable and
for exchange and
London and the UK
The Africa Programme supports short term work placements for African colleagues at the British Museum and with some of its UK partners.
The opportunity to travel outside their home environment, often for the first time, allows participants to expand their vision of the role of museums in the world. The work placements are mainly project-based with a focus on research, display or the acquisition of new skills relevant to the individual’s role.
The British Museum and partner museums benefit from this exchange of cultural knowledge which helps to inform new interpretations of collections.
Map of the United Kingdom showing the locations of partner organisations
David Darkwah (Manhyia Palace Museum), Emmanuel Quainoo (Armed Forces Museum) and Gordon Frimpong (Manhyia Palace Museum) researching the British Museum Asante gold collections
Nana Kwame Adusei carrying the Denkyem Sword during the 10th anniversary celebration in Kumase of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene. The sword was created to protect Nana Osei Kwadwo, the 4th King of Asante in the 18th century. (26th April 2009)
Heidi Cutts (British Museum) working with David Darkwah and Gordon Frimpong (Manhyia Palace Museum) during the installation of the Relating to Ancestors display in the Wellcome Trust Gallery
Gordon Frimpong (Manhyia Palace Museum) mounting Asante gold ornaments onto perspex ready for display
Asante gold-handled swords mounted for the Relating to Ancestors display by David Darkwah (Manhyia Palace Museum) and Emmanuel Quainoo (Armed Forces Museum)
The completed Ghanaian display
Ngāti Rānama, British Museum staff, Emmanuel Quainoo (Armed Forces Museum), David Owusu Darkwah and Gordon Frimpong (Manhyia Palace Museum) at the dedication ceremony of the Wellcome Trust Gallery
Relating to ancestors
Museum colleagues from the Manhyia Palace Museum and the Armed Forces Museum in Kumase travelled to the British Museum in May 2009 to research objects for a new display in the British Museum’s Living and Dying Gallery.
Their expert cultural knowledge brought valuable new insights and interpretations of the Asante gold regalia included in the Relating to Ancestors display. This research will also form the foundation of a British Museum online research catalogue on Asante Gold regalia.
British Museum staff shared technical expertise during a training workshop to install the objects in the gallery. The trainees have been able to use their new skills to make positive changes in their own museum displays.
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Charles Partridge on his voyage to
Nigeria in 1906
A colonial view of Africa
Colleagues from the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Nigeria have been exploring the life and collections of Charles Partridge, a Suffolk-born British colonial administrator who worked in Nigeria (then the Southern Nigerian Protectorate) from 1903-1915.
A large part of his personal collection from the Cross Rivers region in eastern Nigeria was donated to the Ipswich Museum in 1928, while a substantial collection of photographs and a smaller object collection was bequeathed to the British Museum in 1956.
Both collections provide a wealth of primary source material relating to the cultures and history of the protectorate, its people and its colonisers.