Dr. Sylvie M Kassi Yooul

Founding President

Dr. Memel Kassi is the former Director of the Museum of Civilizations and is currently a professor, researcher, and Director of Culture in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. She has been actively spearheading her country’s efforts for the restitution of cultural heritage from France, the djidi ayokwe, speaking drum of the Ebrié people. She is the author of several publications on restitution issues, including “Iconoclasm and Restitution: Between Denial and Cultural Realism”» (Journal of Ethnographic Theory, 10 (3), 2020) and “The Illicit Circulation of Ivorian Collections: Challenges and Prospects” (Journal for Art Market Studies, 1 (2020). She has championed ratification of the 1970 UNESCO Convention and UNIDROIT as well as African regional cooperation for the protection of heritage through ECOWAS.

Founding directors

Ech Cherki Dahmali

Co-founding Director

Mr. Dahmali is the Director of the Morocco Telecommunications Museum in Rabat. President of ICOM-CIMUSET, Member of the ICOM Advisory Council, ICOM-IMREC’s Academic and Programming Board, Vice-President of ICOM-ARAB, Vice-President of ICOM-Morocco and the last Vice President of AFRICOM. He is professor of museology at Sharjah University and cultural heritage expert for the Maghreb-Arab region at UNESCO, ICESCO, and ALECSO, as well as a Member of the National Institute of Archaeological Sciences and Heritage of the Moroccan Ministry of Culture. He is the former President of the Association of Laureates of the National Institute of Archaeological Sciences and Heritage (Morocco).

Mr. Dahmali is a renown restutionist and founding Co-Director of AFRIMUHERE.

Dr. R. Sithole

Founding Director

Dr. R. Sithole – Founding Director

Dr. Sithole has over 25 years’ experience in the heritage field and she is a holder of PhD, Masters and B.Sc. degrees in the natural sciences. For many years she has advocated for the restitution of African heritage as a keynote speaker/presenter at various fora. She has also advocated for the ratification of the UNESCO conventions particular the 1970 convention on the prevention of illicit traffic in cultural objects as well as the UNIDROIT convention. She is part of the African Union’s experts working group that recently drafted the Common African position on Restitution. In 2022 she coordinated a restitution baseline study covering 16 African countries that was commissioned by the OSFs. Dr. Sithole is currently developing partnerships between AFRIMUHERE and similar heritage organizations in Australia, the UK and USA to facilitate provenance research and the restitution of African heritage.

Dr. Sithole is the last Executive Director of the International Council of African Museums (AFRICOM), and Director of the Natural History Museum of Zimbabwe member of ICOM and previously President of ICOM-Zimbabwe. She also has been a member of the CODIC and NATHIST committees as well as Vice-President of NATHIST, promoting the ICOM Code of Ethics for Natural History Museums.

Dr. Sithole specializes in heritage and nonprofits’ management, entomological research and collection management as well as teaching and public speaking on the restitution of natural and cultural heritage to museums, universities, and communities in Africa

board members

Victoria Phiri

Board Member

Ms  Phiri is a cultural historian currently working as a Curator of Choma Museum and Crafts Centre. With an M.A in Indigenous Studies from the University of Tromso in Norway, she is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Zambia where her study is focusing on the interpretation of the Liuwa landscape, part of the Barotse Landscape, which Zambia has proposed to UNESCO to be enlisted as a World Heritage Site.

Victoria Phiri is a specialist of Zambian cultures and continues to do extensive field research work throughout the country which contributes to permanent exhibitions of the National Museums of Zambia, and international publications. Victoria Phiri has also been instrumental in bridging the gap between museums and the community by championing ethno-tourism projects and the creation of community museums in rural Zambia. Also a member of ICOM, she has served as Secretary of the International Committee of Ethnographic Museums (ICME) and as Africa Regional Representative for the International Committee of Education and Cultural Action (CECA).

Dr. Keletso Gaone Setlhabi

Secretary General

Dr. Setlhabi is a Senior Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Botswana. She is an interdisciplinary academic whose main research interest is the study of material culture and its role in defining and shaping past and present societies. Her other research interests are museology, ethnography, digital heritage, cultural heritage and intangible cultural heritage. Dr. Setlhabi has been appointed to the National Task Force of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage (2020-2024). She is a member of the International Council of Museums (ICOM)/International Committee for Documentation (CIDOC). Previously she was the President of the Botswana National Committee of ICOM (2013-16) and Board member of the International Committee for Documentation (CIDOC) (2001-2004). Additionally she is a member of the Botswana Association of Archaeology Professionals (BAAP), Association of Critical Heritage Studies (ACHS) and Society of Africanist Archaeologists (SAFA). Dr. Setlhabi is an enthusiastic cultural activist involved in community work where she is a member of the Kgatleng Intangible Cultural Heritage District Committee and Phuthadikobo Museum Board of Trustees.

Daniel Kibet Arap Mitei

Board Member

Mr. Arap Mitei is presently Senior Curator at NMK Nairobi where he continues to develop and mount exhibitions and assist in the development of regional museums in Kenya. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Chandigarh University, India, and M.A. in Peace and Conflict Management at Egerton University, Kenya. Daniel Mitei was Treasurer of AFRICOM and continues to work on intangible cultural heritage and material cultural heritage preservation through rural museums, at archaeological sites and for historic monuments in Kenya.

Violet Mise

Board Member

Violet Mise has extensive administrative, financial and organizational expertise in the private sector. Ms Mise has championed the non-governmental organizational certification process over the past years to today’s successful conclusion and continues to support the return and restitution of heritage from Western museums, individuals and institutions to all African countries of origin.