Zanzibar ~ Tanzania
Abdul Sheriff (Zanzibar, 1939) Abdul Sheriff is a leading authority on the history and cultures of the Indian Ocean and plays a crucial role in conserving and reinvigorating Zanzibar’s heritage. Professor of history at the University of Dar es Salaam, following his retirement he became advisor on National Heritage and Principal Curator of Zanzibar’s museums. Emphasising low cost and low technology, using local technicians and skills, he directed the restoration of the House of Wonders, a former sultan’s palace, which opened as the new museum of Zanzibar in 2005. He conserved and expanded existing museum collections and undertook the development of local staff, creating a professional team of skilled and committed personnel and sustainable management. He has published books on East African history, including two volumes on Zanzibar’s unique Stone Town. A consummate professional with profound curiosity, dedication to academic standards and belief in the value of historical knowledge, he is raising consciousness of local heritage. This Award honours Abdul Sheriff for his intellectual leadership and for his achievements in ensuring the survival and appreciation of global cultural heritage.