C o m m o n w e a l t h
A s s o c i a t i o n o f
M u s e u m s
CAM Bulletin Number 1 - Jan. 1996
The President's Column
CAM's new President Emmanuel Arinze of Nigeria has expressed his intention to contribute to the bulletin regularly. We are using this first opportunity to introduce the President to CAM members. Some of you have been long-time friends but many have only recently met or have yet to meet this dynamic museum professional from Africa.
Emmanuel Nnakenyi Arinze was born in Sapele, Nigeria. After obtaining a Teacher's Certificate, he taught for a number of years before completing his university education. He received a BSc in Sociology from the University of Ibadan and later continued his studies at the University of Jos (MSc in Sociology), and the University of Lagos (MEd).
His museum career began when he joined the Federal Civil Service as Museum Education Officer in 1972. He was the first Nigerian appointed to that post and was Head of Education Services in Nigerian Museums until 1989. He held many appointments concurrently including Curator in two National Museums at Jos and Lagos, Principal of the Centre for Museums Studies in Jos from 1983-1989 and Assistant Director, Museums and Monuments, 1986-89. From 1989-1991 he was Director, Museums and Monuments and Head, Directorate of Museums and Monuments, and subsequently set up his own firm, Heritage Consultancy Bureau.
Emmanuel Arinze's work has included the coordination of many seminars and workshops, and the curation and coordination of exhibitions in addition to senior management responsibilities. He coordinated the major international exhibition Treasures of Ancient Nigeria: Legacy of 2000 Years which travelled the world from 1980-1985. Those of us who were fortunate enough to host this exhibition are well aware of the superb organization and breathtaking beauty and impact of this wonderful exhibition. More recently he has led the PREMA conservation program for ICCROM and has also contributed to the growing volume of publications by African museologists.
Aririze is no stranger to the international museum community having begun to travel for study purposes to Sweden and the USA in the early 70's and participating consistently in ICOM and other international meetings from 1974. He has been a member of the Commonwealth Association of Museums from the inaugural meeting in Copenhagen in 1974 and has been on the Executive Council since 1986. He has been more active since 1992 as Treasurer of CAM, co Chair of the Victoria symposium Curatorship: Indigenous Perspectives in Post Colonial Societies, and Program Chair for Museums and the National identity': Ideas, Issues and Applications.
Much of his current progressional work has an international base. He is Chairman of the West African Museums Program (since 1992), ICCROM-PREMA consultant in Africa (since 1992) and has carried out expert missions for ICCROM, PREMA, UNESCO, WAMP and others.
Emmanuel Arinze is a very accomplished and dedicated museum professional able to translate ideas into reality, all imbued with his humanity and a strong belief in the Commonwealth vision and the value of international collaboration.
When asked if he would consider the Presidency, he warned that, if he became President, there would be much work to be done. He has already made formal visits to The Commonwealth Secretariat, the Commonwealth Foundation and the Commonwealth Non-Governmental Office for South Africa in London. We look forward to his term as President and an active triennial period for the Commonwealth Association of Museums.