Following the 4th Global Strategy Meeting for West Africa, 16 to 19 September 1998, Porto Novo, Benin, nine African States Parties to the 1972 World Heritage Convention were invited to a meeting organised by the World Heritage Centre and the UNESCO Office in Nairobi. One goal was to identify cultural landscape categories symbolic of African heritage of outstanding universal value. Following this, Niger expressed its intention to host and organise a Global Strategy seminar in West Africa.
Twenty experts representing African, Anglophone and Francophone countries participated at this meeting (Benin, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Niger, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, and Zimbabwe) as well as representatives of ICOMOS, IUCN, and UNESCO. The discussions helped to raise awareness of the World Heritage Convention, to disseminate the Operational Guidelines provided an opportunity to emphasise the specificity of some notions such as ownership, the definition of boundaries, and, more particularly, the necessary involvement of local communities at all stages of the inscription process and the management of the sites.
Finally, a presentation of the France-UNESCO Cooperation Agreement technical support helped to clarify different types of assistance, ranging from preparatory assistance to decentralised co-operation, including capacity building activities to provide support to States Parties to implement the Global Strategy.