Sudan’s Culture Ministry Signs MoU with IGNCA
ARTICLE-THE Government of Sudan and Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts have signed a MOU for greater cultural cooperation and exchange. The MOU was signed on July 11 in the presence of the Sudanese Minister for Culture and Tourism Mr. Siddig Mugtaba, who was on a state visit to India (see interview).
The MOU was initialed by Prof N.R. Shetty, Member Secretary IGNCA and Mr. Mekki Sinada, Advisor to the Sudanese Minister for Tourism and Culture. Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Mugtaba said “culture is the torch that shows the path for the future generations.” Describing the signing of MOU as a historic moment he said unlike the moments that pass and fade away from the memory, this moment in history is anchored, in the MOU.
The MOU was not part of the minister’s pre-arranged itinerary. It was a fall-out of the minister’s visit to IGNCA. Seeing the potential of IGNCA for cultural cooperation and its technological strengths, the minister sought greater cooperation between IGNCA and the cultural institutions in Sudan.
Sudan’s ambassador in India Mr. Abdalmahmood Abdalhaleem said he and his government are keen on implementing the MOU. He said India is very dear to the Sudanese and the two nations share deep-rooted relations. Prof. Shetty emphasized on the importance of Sudan as an ancient civilization. It is the largest African country, he said. Culture is the surest way to express our mutual regard he added. He pledged his full support in ensuring that the MOU is implemented in letter and spirit. Mr. Mekki Sinada said Sudan was going to benefit very much from this MOU. He invoked the divine blessings at this “very exciting” moment, to fulfill the objectives of the MOU. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism is the supreme federal ministry in Sudan in charge of managing, preserving, disseminating and promoting culture and tourism in Sudan. Among other bodies, the ministry has four primary departments – The Higher Council for Culture and Ars, The Sudanese Life Documentation Centre, The Sudan’s Civilization Institute and the National Library, through which it carries out its activities. Like in India, the ministry also maintains coordination with several autonomous institutions and Central and State bodies.
According to the agreement, the two sides will pursue joint activities in the areas of culture and academics. They will organize conferences and other academic conventions, undertake joint research and projects in mutually agreed areas, identify specific areas of research conducive to the award of Ph.D. and other awards, exchange resources such as research materials, publications and other relevant information, identify for possible exchange of primary and secondary source material, copies of manuscripts, microfilms/fisches, slides or rare material on art and culture available in public and private institutions including libraries, museums etc and exchange appropriate Information Technology for cultural digitization and software building.
Both the IGNCA and the Sudanese Ministry for Culture and Tourism will appoint separate steering committees to monitor the progress of the joint programmes. Member Secretary IGNCA and the Advisor to the Minister for Culture and Tourism Sudan will be the ex-officio members of these steering committees. The MOU is initially valid for five years with scope for extension with mutual consent.