© 2016

African Cultural Heritage Conservation and Management

Theory and Practice from Southern Africa


About this book


For a long time, resource conservationists have viewed environmental conservation as synonymous with wilderness and wildlife resources only, oblivious to the contributions made by cultural and heritage resources. However, cultural heritage resources in many parts of the developing world are gradually becoming key in social (e.g. communities’ identities and museums), economic (heritage tourism and eco-tourism), educational (curriculum development), civic (intergenerational awareness), and international resources management (e.g. UNESCO). In universities, African cultural heritage resources are facing a challenge of being brought into various academic discourses and syllabi in a rather reactive and/or haphazard approach, resulting in failure to fully address and research these resources’ conservation needs to ensure that their use in multiple platforms and by various stakeholders is sustainable. This book seeks to place African cultural heritage studies and conservation practices within an international and modern world discourse of conservation by presenting its varied themes and topics that are important for the development of the wider field of cultural heritage studies and management.


African heritage Conservation management Nature-culture dichotomy Heritage borders International conventions National policies Disciplines and scholarship Management paradigms

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Okavango Research InstituteUniversity of BotswanaMaunBotswana

About the authors

Dr Susan O. Keitumetse obtained a BA degree (Archaeology and Environmental Sciences) and Post Graduate Diploma in Education (Geography and History) from the University of Botswana. She went on to compete for and win two separate Commonwealth scholarships both to University of Cambridge, UK, where she pursued an MPhil (Archaeological Heritage Management and Museums) and later on a PhD (African Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Development). During her post-graduate studies, she combined both environmental science and archaeology disciplines to venture into the broader cultural and heritage management studies with a particular focus on sustainable development and cultural heritage management at the Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge. Following on this background, and with a view to catalyze a linkage between environment and cultural heritage in Africa, Dr Keitumetse conducted various researches and published works that illustrate the relevance of cultural and heritage resources for the broader environmental conservation. She is currently employed at the University of Botswana’s Okavango Research Institute as a research scholar in cultural heritage and tourism where she undertakes applied research in areas such as the Okavango inland Delta World Heritage Site and the Kalahari Desert areas of Botswana. Dr Keitumetse continues to work towards developing a cultural heritage management program for Africa using experience from her work. Of particular note is her developing a conservation model of Community-Based Cultural Heritage Resources Management (COBACHREM) to guide local communities and practitioners’ initiatives towards sustainable use of cultural heritage resources for social development. Chapter 4 provides detailed contents of the model.

Dr Susan Keitumetse has published extensively in the field of cultural heritage conservation and management in Africa. Her works comprise of peer-reviewed articles in international journals; peer-reviewed book chapters; refereed conference proceedings; and technical reports in international periodicals, magazines and newspapers. She has presented written and oral papers in numerous international conferences on the subject of African cultural heritage and development around the world, including Britain, America and Europe.

Dr Keitumetse currently serves as an associate editor of the journal ‘Environment, Development, and Sustainability’ published by Springer. She also sits on the editorial board of the International Journal of Community Archaeology and Heritage, published by Taylor and Francis (formerly published by Maney Publishers), as well as the International Journal of Heritage and Sustainable Development published by Green Lines Institute, Portugal.

Dr Keitumetse has both national and international experience from various African countries, as well as institutions outside Africa. In addition to competing for and securing two international academic scholarships for her post-graduate studies at the University of Cambridge, she has won academic grants for research fellowships in international institutions that include the Rockefeller Fellowship at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, USA, and the Watson Scholar Fellowship at Brown University in Rhode Island, USA.

Outside academia and in the international development arena, Dr Keitumetse has worked and continues to work with institutions such as UNESCO where she has been engaged as an expert advisor, examiner, facilitator, and consultant within the intangible cultural heritage section in countries such as Uganda, Swaziland, and Lesotho.

She has corporate governance experience from African parastatal institutions dealing with environment, heritage, tourism and land use planning. These are derived from her tenure as a board director of Botswana Tourism Organisation for six years, where she also chaired a quality assurance committee of the board dealing with grading and certifying tourism accommodation establishments. Dr Keitumetse is currently a committee member of a government gazetted Physical Planning Committee under the Ministry of Lands and Housing, operationalized by the North-West District Council (NWDC) under the Ministry of Local Government, Republic of Botswana. The committee deals with land planning and Dr Keitumetse is instrumental in ensuring that conventional land planning tools take cognizance of cultural landscapes and communities’ cultural heritage in areas earmarked for development planning.

Her overall research interests are in the areas of sustainable development and cultural heritage conservation; historical archaeology; environmental archaeology; community heritage management; heritage tourism; heritage and protected areas; international management of cultural heritage; amongst others.

Bibliographic information