IPCH Embarks on Groundbreaking Initiative with Museums and Cultural Institutions in Africa

IPCH Embarks on Groundbreaking Initiative with Museums and Cultural Institutions in Africa
October 2, 2023

Yale Directors Forum

A fellowship program for global leaders of museums and cultural institutions

Program Description  

The Yale Directors Forum is a highly selective 18-month fellowship program for global leaders in the culture and heritage sector. Fellows are trailblazers and change agents who are building museums, cultural centers, libraries, archives and organizations that play an important role in stewarding cultural heritage for present and future generations. Through interaction with leading global practitioners, engagement with expertise across Yale, and connections within each cohort, the Forum provides an exciting opportunity for fellows to expand their executive leadership skills, grow their professional networks and strengthen their organization’s capacity in the preservation and care of collections. The Forum is housed within Yale’s Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage (Yale IPCH) and led by Charlotte Ashamu, the Yale IPCH Director of International Programs.  

Selection Criteria 

The Yale Directors Forum selects a diverse group of executive leaders of museums and cultural institutions from across the Global South. In the first cohort, the Forum will place a strategic focus on the African continent. Fellows meet the following criteria and requirements:  
  • Serve as the chief executive or director of a cultural institution based on the African continent in operation for at least 2 years (museum, cultural center, archive, library, etc.).  
  • Oversee the management and care of a collection including artistic, cultural and historical objects (paintings, photography, sculpture, books, papers, etc.).  
  • Demonstrate leadership in serving underserved groups and communities.  
  • Communicate a clear vision, mission, and strategy for their organization.  
  • Eager to expand their learning and deepen professional networks.  

Program Structure 

The Yale Directors Forum is focused on supporting visionary leaders to achieve growth and improvements within their organizations through participant-centered learning, coaching and advisory services, and the development of a diverse professional network. Fellows will convene for two in-person sessions over the course of the 18-month program from February 2024 through June 2025. Each in-person session will include a series of seminars with leading global practitioners, site visits and peer learning. In addition, fellows will engage in a series of structured sessions with an executive coach and collaborate with Yale IPCH staff to embark on the planning of their first collections care program or an updated program within their institution designed to preserve art, historical and cultural material heritage. The program is tuition-free and culminates in a non-degree certificate from Yale University. 

2023 Fellows

Marie-Cécile Zinsou
Founder and President, Ouidah Museum – Zinsou Foundation 
Country: Benin
Kwame Akoto-Bamfo
Founder and Director, Nkyinkyim Museum 
Country: Ghana 
Meskerem Assegued
Co-Founder and Director, Zoma Museum 
Country: Ethiopia
Wanjiru Koinange
Co-Founder, Book Bunk 
Country: Kenya
Chao Tayiana Maina
Founder and Director, African Digital Heritage
Country: Kenya
Desiree Dibasen Nanuses
Founder and Executive Director, The Curatorial Institute 
Country: Namibia
Seun Oduwole
Co-Founder and Director, Living Objects
Country: Nigeria
Oyindamola  Fakeye 
Executive and Artistic Director, Centre for Contemporary Art
Country: Nigeria
Ore Disu
Director, Museum of West African Art, Pavilion  
Country: Nigeria
El Hadji Malick Ndiaye
Head and Curator, Théodore Monod Museum of African Art, IFAN Cheikh Anta Diop University   
Country: Senegal
Lekgetho Makola 
CEO, Javett Art Centre, University of Pretoria 
Country: South Africa
Bongani Mgijima 
Director, Stellenbosch University Museum
Country: South Africa 
Sonia Lawson 
Founding Director, Palais de Lome 
Country: Togo
Samba Yonga
Co-Founder, Women’s History Museum of Zambia 
Country: Zambia
Makhosi Mahlangu
Founder, Sivalo Food Museum
Country: Zimbabwe
Silenkosi Moyo  
Regional Director, National Gallery of Zimbabwe – Bulawayo 
Country: Zimbabwe