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The Africa region covers the 47 States Parties of the World Heritage Convention in the Sub-Saharan Africa. In line with the Global Priority Africa of UNESCO, the Africa unit of the World Heritage Centre strives to enhance the capacity of the Africa region in the implementation of the World Heritage Convention.

Africa is one of UNESCO’s Global Priorities. The African Renaissance is underway, with the adoption of the African Union Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development paving the ground for the African development.


Cultural Properties


Mixed Properties


Natural Properties




In Danger


Total number of properties

Periodic Reporting

© Asmara Heritage Project / Asmara

Third Cycle

The World Heritage Committee, at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017), declared in Decision 41 COM 10A, the start of the Third Cycle of Periodic Reporting in the Africa region, in accordance with Article 29 of the 1972 Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. The Third Cycle of Periodic Reporting exercise in the Region involved African States Parties to the Convention and the World Heritage properties inscribed on the World Heritage List, including the sites inscribed by the Committee at its the 43rd session in Baku, Azerbaijan in July 2019.

The reporting exercise took place from September 2019 to July 2020 and 46 African States Parties to the Convention, of which 35 have 96 World Heritage properties inscribed on the World Heritage List, answered an online questionnaire. Several workshops have been organized to facilitate the filling and analysis of the questionnaires. A draft Report and draft Action Plan have been prepared and finalized with all African National Focal Points.  The two documents were submitted at the extended 44th session of the World Heritage Committee and were adopted subsequently.

© UNESCO / Xiangling Chen

Cycle 2

Main results
Africa Region
English Français

Synthesis and analysis of the Second Cycle of Periodic Reporting in Africa submitted in accordance with Decision 33 COM 11.C

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Cycle 1

Main results
Africa Region
English Français

Conclusions and recommendations of the synthesis Report on the state of conservation of the World Heritage in Africa, submitted.

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and nomination

© Shutterstock / Teo Tarras /UNESCO and ALIPH to rehabilitate Mali’s Bandiagara World Heritage site and support conflict-affected communities

The Africa region has currently 98 properties inscribed on the World Heritage List, including 54 cultural properties, 39 natural properties and 5 mixed properties. Conservation of UNESCO World Heritage in the Africa region is continuously monitored by the Reactive Monitoring mechanism. There are 15 properties are inscribed on the List in Danger. While working to ensure the conservation of all inscribed properties, the Africa unit is working to develop the Desired state of conservation for the removal (DSOCR) for these properties for their eventual removals from the List in Danger.

As the Africa region represents only 9% of the World Heritage List, the Africa unit is also working closely with partners and the African World Heritage Fund (AWHF) to increase the number of sites nominated on the World Heritage List from the Africa region.

Capacity Development

© Shutterstock / Abdelrahman Hassanein

In the period of transition toward the new Regional Action Plan to be approved during the 44th extended session of the World Heritage Committee, the Africa Unit of the World Heritage Centre developed a strategic action plan for capacity development in five key areas, namely: (i) Youth & Inclusiveness; (ii) Site Managers & Outreach; (iii) Training and Education Institutions; (iv) Experts and Civil Society; and (v) Institutions and Advocacy. The aim is to anchor the ongoing efforts to implement the 1972 Convention and at the same time to develop favourable conditions for the implementation of the new Regional Action Plan.

& Inclusiveness

The activities will target the children and youth of Africa for them to better understand World Heritage and the 1972 Convention, and to be more involved in the activities related to the implementation of the Convention. Following the experiences of other regions, WHC-AFR will work very closely under UNESCO’s network of youth in the Education Sector.

Site Managers
& Outreach

The activities will support African site managers to create a strong network for sharing experiences and enhancing peer learning, especially to empower them with tools to reach local communities. There will be an emphasis on outreach in order to help site managers to better engage more local communities and civil society in the conservation and management of African sites.
African Site Managers Network: members of the Interim Committee elected

Training and Education Institution

The activities will support the training and education institutions to develop a strong curriculum and network of education facilities and programmes on conservation and heritage management in Africa. The network of UNESCO chairs in Africa will be capitalised for the benefit of the 1972 Convention.

and Civil Society

The activities will support and mentor young experts for them to excel and work with the 1972 Convention. A new initiative will be promoted to groom young experts and facilitate intergenerational knowledge-sharing in the region.

and Advocacy

The activities will support States Parties in their efforts to empower local institutions to maintain continuity and institutional capacity with regards to the 1972 Convention. In view of an effective implementation of the 1972 Convention, the States Parties and local authorities will be better informed and further supported to capitalise on the resources of the AWHF, Advisory Bodies and other UNESCO partner networks of professionals.

Sustainable Development

© OUR PLACE The World Heritage Collection/ David G. F. Smith / Cape Floral Region Protected Areas (South Africa)

In November 2015, the General Assembly of States Parties to the UNESCO World Heritage Convention adopted, by Resolution 20 GA 13, the Policy Document for the Integration of a Sustainable Development Perspective into the processes of the World Heritage Convention.

Subsequently, the World Heritage Committee by Decision 40 COM 5C welcomed its adoption and reiterated the need to achieve appropriate balance and integration between the protection of the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of World Heritage properties and the pursuit of sustainable development objectives and called upon States Parties to ensure that sustainable development principles are mainstreamed into national processes related to World Heritage, in full respect of the Outstanding Universal Value of World Heritage sites.

Climate change and Risk management

Communication and promotion

5 May
African World Heritage Day

Proclaimed by the 38th session of the General Conference of UNESCO (November 2015), African World Heritage Day (5 May) is an opportunity for people around the world, and particularly Africans, to celebrate the Continent’s unique cultural and natural heritage

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Activities (21)
News (99)
Events (82)
See Also (1)
Decisions (9)
Show 43COM 10A.2 Progress report on the follow-up to the second cycle of the Periodic Reporting (Africa)
Show 40COM 10B.2 Follow-up to the Second Cycle of the Periodic Reporting Exercise for Africa region
Show 39COM 10B.2 Follow-up of the second cycle of the Periodic Reporting exercise for the other regions and general reflection on Periodic Reporting
Show 38COM 8E Adoption of Retrospective Statements of Outstanding Universal Value
Show 38COM 10B.2 Progress Report on Periodic Reporting in the Africa region
Show 37COM 10C.2 Progress report on Periodic Reporting in Africa region
Show 36COM 10D Follow-up of the Second Cycle of the Periodic Reporting exercise for Africa Region
Show 07EXTCOM 5C Follow-up to Periodic Report for Africa
Show 25COM VII1 Report on the state of the World Heritage in the Africa Region