Rwanda Cultural Heritage Academy and Google Arts and Culture Collaboration

The Rwandan Cultural Heritage Academy (RCHA) had joined forces with Google Arts and Culture to unveil the Rwanda Collection, underscoring the pivotal role of digital technologies in preserving and promoting cultural heritage on International Museum Day. Celebrated annually on May 18th, International Museum Day emphasized the importance of museums in cultural exchange, enrichment, and development. That year’s theme, “Museums as Cultural Hubs: The Future of Tradition,” aptly reflected the mission of the Rwanda Collection. By harnessing the power of digital tools, this initiative bridged the past and future, ensuring that Rwanda’s cultural heritage was preserved, accessible, and engaging for audiences worldwide.

Digital heritage preservationists championed the integration of technology in conserving and disseminating cultural heritage. Their vision included digitizing artifacts, creating virtual exhibitions, and utilizing interactive platforms to broaden access to historical and cultural narratives. The RCHA-Google Arts and Culture partnership exemplified this vision, making Rwanda’s rich cultural legacy available to a global audience through the Rwanda Collection.

The Rwanda Collection was a comprehensive digital archive showcasing a wide array of Rwandan cultural artifacts, historical documents, and artistic works. This initiative went beyond preservation, creating a vibrant platform for education and cultural exchange. By digitizing Rwanda’s cultural treasures, the collection safeguarded them from physical degradation and democratized access, aligning perfectly with the ethos of International Museum Day.

Key features of the Rwanda Collection included immersive virtual tours and interactive exhibits, enabling users to explore Rwandan culture and history from anywhere in the world. These digital experiences brought Rwandan stories to life, making them accessible and engaging. The platform also served as an educational resource, providing in-depth descriptions, historical contexts, and multimedia content, supporting educators, students, and researchers in their quest for knowledge. By utilizing Google Arts and Culture’s extensive platform, the Rwanda Collection reached a global audience, fostering international appreciation and understanding of Rwanda’s cultural heritage.

The launch of the Rwanda Collection was a significant contribution to global digital heritage preservation efforts. It aligned with the objectives of UNESCO and other cultural organizations that advocate for the preservation of cultural heritage through digital means. The collaboration between RCHA and Google Arts and Culture set a precedent for similar initiatives, promoting the use of advanced technologies in cultural preservation.

Future plans for the Rwanda Collection included incorporating augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies to enhance user experiences, expanding the archive with more diverse artifacts, and leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to personalize interactions. These innovations would further the mission of making Rwanda’s cultural heritage more interactive and accessible.

The partnership between the Rwanda Cultural Heritage Academy and Google Arts and Culture, celebrated on International Museum Day, represented a significant advancement in the field of digital heritage preservation. The Rwanda Collection not only protected and promoted Rwanda’s cultural treasures but also embodied the spirit of that year’s theme, “Museums as Cultural Hubs: The Future of Tradition.” By embracing technology, this initiative ensured that Rwanda’s cultural legacy was preserved and appreciated globally, paving the way for future generations to engage with and learn from the rich tapestry of Rwandan heritage. This collaboration was one of the much-encouraged interventions for Public-Private Partnerships the government could facilitate for the culture sector through the Connect for Culture Africa (CfCA).


About Selam

Selam is a Pan-African organisation based  in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  Selam was created in 1997 and has since  evolved into an international player, partnering with artists, cultural producers, the private sector, the media, culture institutions, researchers, and national and regional governments across the African continent as well in other regions in the world.

CfCA is being implemented by

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Contact : Lucy Ilado –  Regional Programme Director  |  Email:    Whatsapp:   +254 700 322 664

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