The Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization (CBAAC) was established by Decree 69 of 1979 following the successful and epoch-making hosting of the 2nd World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC ’77). The Centre houses all the materials which constitute the core collections, artifacts, and rare cultural items that were used during FESTAC ’77. The decision to handover these materials to Nigeria Was to reinforce and build upon the gains of the historic festival. It was in fact in fulfilment of Nigeria ‘s pledge to keep the materials in trust for the 59 Black and African countries and communities which participated in the Festival that gave impetus for the establishment of the Centre.
To achieve its set goals, the Centre holds seminars, workshops, public lectures, exhibitions and symposia. The Centre engages in other activities which project the overall image of Black and African Peoples and enable their cultures to be appreciated globally. Through its numerous programmes, the Centre has continued to contribute to the pool of universal knowledge on Black and African Peoples.
Statutorily, the Centre is charged with the responsibility of promoting and propagating Black and African Cultural Heritage in its totality. The strategic mandate of the Centre, and the key role it has been playing in making Nigeria the arrowhead in the presentation, promotion and propagation of African cultural heritage informed the decision (vide government white paper on the report of the Presidential Panel on the Review, Harmonization and Rationalization of Federal Parastatals, Institutions, and Agencies in 2000) to upgrade CBAAC to an African. Heritage Center.