The African continent is universally recognised for its cultural and natural diversity and for the richness of its arts. Expressed through its arts, crafts, clothing, cuisine, music, and languages, the wealth of African culture serves as a catalyst for the socio-economic development of the African continent.

As the sole United Nations agency with a mandate in the field of culture, UNESCO is uniquely positioned to support culture-related policies and design, develop and implement cultural projects on all continents. Through its Culture Conventions, UNESCO strives to safeguard and promote cultural heritage and creativity to build peace and advance sustainable development. Encompassing from tangible and intangible heritage, to the diversity of cultural expressions and creative industries to the fight against the illicit trafficking of cultural property, these Conventions contribute to the economic, social and environmental development of the countries that are Parties through culture and provide mechanisms and tools to support local and national development strategies and promote cooperation based on the respect for human rights.

Within the framework of the African World Heritage Day celebrations, a webinar will be organized by UNESCO in collaboration with the African World Heritage Fund (AWFH) with a view to highlight the roles, challenges and opportunities of the different UNESCO Culture Conventions and draw up a comprehensive state of play of culture in the continent, while reflecting on possible synergies and conceivable steps to leverage culture for development. Speakers will give an insight into the implementation of the various Culture Conventions, provide concrete examples of activities undertaken in Africa and participate in an open debate on the future prospects for the continent. The webinar will be broadcast online on UNESCO webcast.

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