Africa Programme

Sustainable and
dynamic initiatives 
for exchange and 
skills sharing

Supported by:

Ford Foundation


The British Museum’s main partner in Nigeria is the National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM). The Commission has responsibility for a network of 36 national museums as well as numerous heritage sites and monuments across the country.

The Africa Programme has been working actively with the Commission for four years and has organised a series of workshops in Lagos and Ibadan as well as hosting work placements at the British Museum for NCMM staff.

This partnership has supported two major touring exhibitions, a UK museum gallery project and has led to the cleaning, redisplay and improved storage of objects in Nigerian museum collections.

Current Partners

Map of Nigeria

Map of Nigeria showing the locations
of partner organisations



Working in partnership through the Kingdom of Ife

In 2010 a major loan of objects from the National Commission for Museums and Monuments, Nigeria to the British Museum presented an unprecedented opportunity for an intensive programme of skills sharing and knowledge transfer.

A joint team of British and Nigerian museum staff worked together to research, pack, transport, conserve and install the objects through a series of training workshops in Nigeria and work placements in London.

The Kingdom of Ife: sculptures from West Africa exhibition was opened in London by the Ooni of Ife, His Royal Majesty Alayeluwa Oba Okunade Sijuwade, Olubase II. The exhibition ran from March – July 2010 and attracted over 55,000 visitors.

Find out more

Kingdom of Ife: sculptures from West Africa 



Workshops support an African Lace exhibition

Nigerian museums have significant textile holdings but museum staff lacked specialist skills in working with these collections. In 2010 the Africa Programme ran a series of workshops in Lagos and Ibadan focusing on textile care, storage and display.

Workshop participants were drawn from 12 Nigerian museums. Since the completion of the workshops, participating colleagues have been applying new approaches to the care and presentation of their own collections.

A major textile research and exhibition project developed between the NCMM and the Museum für Völkerkunde Vienna resulted in an exhibition: African Lace: Austrian Fabrics for Nigeria . This exhibition was subsequently installed in Lagos by the textile workshop participants with the support of the Africa Programme team in May 2011. The exhibition continues in Lagos until January 2012.