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African World Heritage Day

May 5th 2021

 “Arts, Culture and Heritage:
Levers for Building
the Africa We Want”.

Since the proclamation of African World Heritage Day in 2015 by the 38th session of the General Conference of UNESCO, every 5 May, African cultural and natural, tangible and intangible heritage is celebrated across the globe, raising awareness of the benefits of its promotion and preservation, as well as the related challenges the continent faces.

In the face of climate change, armed conflict and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, among other challenges, African countries must ensure that their remarkable heritage is able to adapt and thrive in today's environment. In this light, the African Union (AU) declared the Year 2021 as the “AU Year of the Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want”.

To celebrate this day, UNESCO in collaboration with the African World Heritage Fund (AWHF) and their partners, will organise a series of events across the continent that will highlight the resilience, opportunities, and wealth to be gained from African heritage, as well as explore solutions to the challenges facing the continent.

What’s on the programme?

29 April – 5 May
5th African World Heritage Youth Forum

5 May
10:00-12:00 (CET)
Webinar: Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for Building the Africa We Want

14:30-19:00 (CET)
African World Heritage Day Live Instagram Concert

5 – 31 May
Open Competition: Mobilizing Youth Engagement in the Celebration of African World Heritage Day

A Webinar
including UNESCO 
CLT Conventions

This online debate will bring together young people, policy makers, site managers, and members of the local community to reflect on the impact of COVID-19 on the lives and livelihoods of African communities and heritage sites. Over 200 participants from Africa and around the world will discuss strategies to build resilience and overcome the crisis while ensuring the sustainability of World Heritage in Africa.

08:00 a.m  in Dakar
10:00 a.m  in Paris
10:00 a.m  in Johannesburg
11:00 a.m  in Kampala

Watch the webinar
Download the concept note

World Heritage
Youth Forum

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year the 5th edition of the African World Heritage Youth Forum will be held online under the theme ‘Youth, Entrepreneurship and Heritage Sustainability: Building the Africa We Want’ from 29 April to 5 May 2021.
The five-day Forum will consist of interactive oral presentations from youth participants and experts from different fields (e.g. business, leadership, heritage, etc.) combined with hands-on activities, group discussions and workshops. The Youth Forum will be implemented fully online using the Zoom platform.

Download the programme

World Heritage Day
Live Instagram Concert

With the aim of sharing Africa’s resilience with the world and celebrating its exceptional culture, UNESCO will be organising a live concert on Instagram, featuring performances by artists from across the continent.

This initiative aims at raising young people’s awareness of the African Union’s theme for 2021 through the use of digital technologies and social networks, further engage Africans in the promotion and transmission of World Heritage in Africa, support and promote African artists at the international level and increase international visibility of African Heritage and the vibrancy of its culture.

View the programme

Asmara: A Modernist African City (Eritrea)

Message from the Director-General
"At a time of crisis, anxiety and uncertainty, the world’s cultural and natural heritage is an invaluable resource that fuels our resilience, helps us find solutions, and brightens the future. This is the role that the African World Heritage, celebrated on this Day, can play for the African populations as well as for humanity as a whole."

— Audrey Azoulay, Director-General,
on the occasion of African World Heritage Day

Download the complete message
in PDF format
English Français Español Русский العربية 中文

African World Heritage Day
Live Instagram Concert

1st Session


5 May
3.00 pm – 3.30 pm (Paris time)

Dela Botri (@dela_botri)

2nd Session

Illustration performance

5 May
4.00 pm – 5.00 pm (Paris time)

Fine Artist
Zakaria Gnaoui (@zak.sart)

3rd Session

Dj Set

5 May
7.00 pm – 8.30 pm (Paris time)

DJ set by
JeuneLio (@jeunelio)

Watch the Royal Procession video

#MyAfricanHeritage and #ShareOurHeritage are the hashtags you can use and follow on African World Heritage Day.