Training courses at the Ethiopian National Museum, Addis Ababa

A training course about planning and creating exhibitions. Part of a joint British Museum / Africa programme initiative.


  • Ethiopian National Museum, Addis Ababa
  • British Museum (BM)


  • To provide participants with a basic understanding of how to plan, design and mount an exhibition, in preparation for refurbishing gallery space at the National Museum.

Key event: Training sessions, 1827 February 2009

Colleagues jointly lead the sessions
Sessions were led by Hassan Arero and Helen Wolfe from the British Museum. The design element was developed by Sam Malaki and Eileen Musundi, colleagues from the National Museum of Kenya.

The course was opened with an introduction by Mamitu Yilma – manager of Ethiopia National Museum.

The structure of the sessions
Most sessions included a practical exercise or group discussion to help everyone participate and feel involved in the process of developing the gallery. Themes and designs for each section of the new displays were looked at in detail.

Outcomes from the training course
By the end of the course:

  • A three-dimensional plan of the gallery was produced showing the layout of cases
  • A schedule for the work was drawn up for a two year programme
  • A requirements brief for working space, equipment, staff and budget written

The National Museum team are now ready to start choosing objects for each section in the gallery, continue the research for label and information panel text and allocate objects to cases or wall space. 

The new exhibition
Ethiopia: History and Cultures was chosen as the title of the exhibition space which will occupy the first and second floors of the museum.

On the first floor (phase one) themes are: History–1855 to Present, Trade and Religion and the second floor (phase two) Regional Aspects and Modern Ethiopia.

Preparing objects for display at the Ethiopian National Museum

Pinning excercise at Addis Ababa