African World Heritage Day was proclaimed in 2015 during the 38th session of the UNESCO General Conference, with aims to promote and celebrate the fantastic heritage and culture that the Continent of Africa possesses through its communities and people.
While Africa is underrepresented on the World Heritage List (African properties account for some 12% of all inscribed sites worldwide), a disproportionally high percentage (39%) of these properties are on the World Heritage List in Danger. Faced with various contemporary threats, such as climate change, uncontrolled development, poaching, civil unrest and instability, many of Africa’s wonders risk losing their outstanding universal value. It is, therefore, more urgent than ever that this irreplaceable heritage is protected and preserved for the enjoyment of future generations.
UNESCO is committed to spearheading international efforts to draw on the vast potential of Africa’s cultural and natural heritage as a force for poverty reduction and social cohesion as well as a driver of sustainable development and innovation. Through this international day, UNESCO aims to increase global awareness of African heritage, with a special focus on youth, and to mobilise enhanced cooperation for its safeguarding on the local, regional and global level.
Date: May 5th