I am pleased to inform you that the 12th Biennial Colloquium of West African Archaeological Association/Association Ouest Africaine ‘Archaeologie took place in Jos, Nigeria between the 25th and 30th of October 2009. A welcome address co-signed by Dr. J. O. Aleru (Senior Rep. for West Africa) and Dr. Didier N’Dah (Junior Rep. for West Africa) on behalf of the President (WAC), members of the Executive, WAC Council was circulated at the conference (see attachment). The conference drew participants from five West African Countries, namely: Nigeria, Benin Republic, Côte d’Ivorie, Togo, Germany and Switzerland/Mali.
A new Executive Committee to run the affairs of the Association for the next two years was elected. They are President, Dr. Kiè’non-Kaboré T Helène, Chef du Dèpartement, University De Cocody, Abidjan Côte d’Ivorie; the 1st Vice President, Dr. J. O. Aleru, Dept of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Ibadan, Nigeria; the 2nd Vice President Dr. Banni G. Umopu, Benin Republic; Secretary Dr. Obare Bagodo (5 year term), University of Abomey, Calavi, Benin Rep.; Treasurer Dr. Benedicta Mangut, Nigeria. Two Ex-Officio members in persons of Prof. P. Breunig (Germany) and Prof Eric Huysecom were also elected. Details of other members of the EXCO would be provided in my annual report in Dec. 2009.
The occasion provided opportunity for archaeologists from different parts of the region to show interest in WAC activities in the region. At the end of the conference a communiqué was issued. The communiqué among other things addressed issues such as: (a) the ethical challenge of archaeological practice in the region; (b) repatriation of cultural materials from foreign countries and; (c) the need to review the legal instruments of archaeological practice in the region Members were sensitized to the need to participate more actively in WAC activities in the region, most especially French-speaking countries outside Benin Rep. and English-speaking countries outside Nigeria. In this regard facilitators from countries outside these two were to be suggested. They are to assist in mobilizing their colleagues for inter/interactive sessions within the region (i.e. workshops etc). Dr. Olu Aleru along with colleagues from different parts of the region would mobilize for English-speaking West African countries while D. Didier N’Dah and other colleagues would the same for French-speaking West African countries.
Olu Aleru (Senior Rep West Africa)