Abstract and Keywords
Although definitions vary, the general view is that museum institutions educate the public, as well as care for, own, and use tangible and intangible objects, which they exhibit on a regular basis to the public. Through systematic research, museum curators and other specialists discern new knowledge that enables museums to mount permanent and temporary exhibitions to advance knowledge and public understanding. In the context of a primarily non-written African past, the paucity of documentary sources is critically informed and enhanced by archaeological evidence. In Africa today, countries realise the important role museums play in dispersing knowledge about cultural heritage and its potential to promote cultural diversity and to heal ethnic divisions. Since museums have a formulative as well as a reflective role in social relations, they have a major role to play a major part in shaping the future political and cultural landscape of the new Africa.
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