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Rift Valley Institute

Making local knowledge work

South Sudan: Archivists fear loss of legacy texts

Africa’s youngest country doesn’t have a museum yet in which to display its national archives; it would have to be built with the help of donors.

The project will also need the help of international donors to get off the ground, and the ongoing conflict has made it difficult to secure funding.

“It’s true that the different outbreaks of conflict have caused some delays to the project,” said Anna Rowett, programme manager of the Rift Valley Institute, a non-profit research and training organisation.

“They need a proper home. These documents are very fragile. Some of them are over 100 years old,” Rowett said.

In the meantime, though, archival documents have been printed onto large posters and affixed to walls in Juba as part of an effort to encourage South Sudanese citizens to learn about their own history.

“These archives are teaching me about what has been written down,” said Amira Ajak, a resident, in front of the display.

“I’m learning my country’s history. Anyone can read and learn about their heritage.”

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