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.
?️ A word from Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO
“The Ngorongoro Declaration on African World Heritage as a Driver for Sustainable Development, adopted in 2016, reminds us of the urgent need to build capacity for heritage management and conservation in Africa.”
Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of African World Heritage Day
Discover some of the World Heritage Sites from around the African Continent.
International days are celebrations and calls to action. They are for everyone to participate in.
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Why are International Days important? They provide unique opportunities to transmit UNESCO values to the world.
International days also provide a unique opportunity to engage citizens on global issues, to mobilise political will and resources to address these problems, but also to celebrate and reinforce the achievements of humanity as well as remember some of our darkest times as they guide us towards building a better world.