Since July 2013, the world has 981 properties inscribed on the World Heritage List. With a total of 128 properties located in 40 State Parties, the African continent has 13% of the World Heritage properties.This modest representation requires the initiation of supported inscription projects.
The African continent is also home to rich heritage and has a diversity of properties and exceptional practices that deserve to be promoted globally. The results of the Second Cycle of Periodic Reporting for the Arab states and for the Africa region have been adopted at the 34th and 35th World Heritage Committee meetings in Brasilia (2010) and Paris (2011) respectively. Both periodic reports and their Action Plans have recognised the need to reinforce the existing mechanisms of conservation and management of World Heritage by the efficient utilisation of regional resources and international cooperation for the benefit of people. Issues such as indigenous knowledge and expertise, development pressure, community empowerment and political risks were highlighted as concerns to be addressed in the coming years. Many good practices in the field of conservation and management deserve to be known and widely disseminated. The periodic reports also emphasised the need to organise regional and inter-regional meetings in order to improve networking and sharing of experiences on the African continent.
In 2012, on the occasion of the celebration in Africa of the 40th anniversary of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, the Government of South Africa, the African World Heritage Fund and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, organised the conference “Living with World Heritage in Africa” in South Africa from the 26th to the 29th September 2012. One of the recommendations of the conference was to organise a regional meeting every two years on the Africa continent. In application of this recommendation, the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco and the African World Heritage Fund, in partnership with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and the UNESCO Cluster Office in Rabat, are pleased to announce an international seminar on the theme: “Experiences of World Heritage in Africa”.
Objective of the Seminar
The seminar aims to reflect on the experiences of World Heritage in Africa, specifically in the areas related to indigenous systems, management, community participation, economic awareness and impacts of armed conflict.
The aim is to analyse the management practices of African World Heritage sites in order to share experiences on the successes and challenges of regional and international interest.
The results of the conference will be published.