As part of the Third Cycle of the Periodic Reporting Exercise in Africa, over 80 participants from 46 African States Parties with 96 World Heritage properties (53 cultural, 38 natural and 5 mixed) will be meeting at Grand Bassam, Cote-d’Ivoire, from 11 to 14 September 2019, to go through the statutory processes of the World Heritage Convention

This regional meeting organized by the World Heritage Centre in cooperation with the UNESCO Offices in the Africa region and in close collaboration with the African World Heritage Fund (AWHF) and the Advisory Bodies aims to familiarize the National Focal Points of the Africa region with the Periodic Reporting statutory processes of the World Heritage Convention.  It also aims to provide them with the tools to support the World Heritage Site Managers in their reporting exercises.

During the 4-day meeting, participants, mostly National Focal Points will be briefed on the outcomes of Action Plan of the Second Cycle, Periodic Reporting process, on the new introduction of the revised questionnaire. Representatives of the Advisory Bodies to the World Heritage Convention, IUCN and ICOMOS will present specific aspects of the Outstanding Universal Value of sites and their attributes. The exercise will help lead to a number of useful discussions and sharing of experience between the Focal Points of the region and to promote regional cooperation.

At the opening ceremony, Edmond Moukala Chief of Africa Unit emphasized that this event is crucial for the future of the World Heritage Convention in Africa, it echoes the hope expressed by the Director-General of UNESCO to support, protect and promote African heritage for the common cause of our shared history.

The main foreseen outcomes of the meeting include the establishment of closer contacts between the Focal Points with a view to future cooperation on Periodic Reporting, and the defining of the role of the AWHF as the key regional partner for the Periodic Reporting in the Africa region.

Periodic Reporting is one of the core conservation monitoring mechanisms of the World Heritage Convention. Every six years, the States Parties are invited to submit to the World Heritage Committee a Periodic Report on the application of the World Heritage Convention in their territory.

Reporting in the Africa region will last approximately 10 months and will run from September 2019 to July 2020. During this time, participants will gather relevant information and complete and submit their questionnaires

Further meetings on Periodic Reporting for World Heritage Site Managers in the region are foreseen for winter 2020.