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Sub-regional celebration of the 50th anniversary of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention in Central Africa

17-19 October 2022

A celebration to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1972 Convention will be held in Yaounde, Cameroon in October 2022.


  • Ministry of Arts and Culture in partnership with the UNESCO Central Africa Regional Office
  • Ministry of External Relations
  • Ministry of Forests and Wildlife
  • UNESCO National Commission for Cameroon
  • African World Heritage Fund (AWHF)
  • International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM)
  • École du patrimoine africain (EPA)

The celebration of the 50th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention provides an opportunity to look back and look forward to the World Heritage we want in Central Africa for the next 50 years. The 13 natural and cultural heritage sites in the 10 countries of Central Africa testify to the universal appreciation and realization of this innovative legal framework. In Central Africa, a region facing several imbalances in the implementation of the Convention, this celebration comes at a critical time for World Heritage conservation. The impacts of armed conflict are tangibly felt by the sites and the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the vulnerability of the heritage ecosystem to a sudden crisis, which was evident through the closure of several World Heritage sites. Other challenges are prevalent: climate change, natural and man-made disasters, population growth, rapid urbanization, and the destruction of heritage.

In this context, this sub-regional initiative covering the 10 countries covered by the UNESCO Regional Office in Central Africa (Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo Brazzaville, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sao Tome and Principe and Chad) will allow for in-depth reflections on the future of heritage entitled "Actions and innovations for sustainable World Heritage at the service of communities in Central Africa #Next50." Events, awareness campaigns and initiatives will provide a space for conversation and exploration on the role of World Heritage and non-listed heritage in addressing global, regional, national, and local challenges. Leading experts, scholars and professionals in various fields, including the sciences, humanities and social sciences, will be invited to think and rethink World Heritage on its 50th anniversary in thematic sessions.

Finally, the regional celebration of the 50th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention in Central Africa will offer an important place for young heritage professionals. As part of this celebration and broader efforts to make Africa's heritage a source of inclusive and sustainable benefits for its youth and as part of the Youth.Heritage.Africa, AWHF in collaboration with ICCROM, the Ministry of Arts and Culture of Cameroon, and the UNESCO Central Africa Regional Office will organize the 6th edition of the African Youth Forum on World Heritage in the Dja Faunal Reserve, Cameroon, under the theme "African Youth in the Next 50 Years: The Heritage We Want."

Read the Call to Action here: Ministers from Central Africa launch a Call to Action to improve the representation of African cultural and natural heritage on the World Heritage List | Articles (unesco.org)

Expert Meeting programme


Concept Note


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Monday, 17 October 2022
Wednesday, 19 October 2022

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Yaoundé, Cameroon