Elections held for Africa Site Managers Network
In the Framework of Priority Africa, UNESCO intends to empower African institutions and professionals to safeguard better and promote UNESCO World Heritage properties on the Continent. Capacity development is, therefore, one of the hallmarks of the new Strategy for World Heritage in Africa. For that, the World Heritage Centre (WHC), in close collaboration with the African World Heritage Fund (AWHF) and ICCROM, launched in May 2022 the Africa Site Managers Network (ASMN). This initiative is also in line with the Regional Action Plan for Africa (2021-2027) approved by the World Heritage Committee in July 2021, following the Third Cycle of the Periodic Reporting exercise in the Sub-Saharan Africa region. The Network will enhance the capacity of World Heritage site managers in the Continent through continuous learning, knowledge exchange and experience sharing with their peers in the Continent and Globally.
On 30 September 2022, a Committee of 15 members were elected to work as the Standing Committee with the mandate of two years and ensure the proper functioning of the network in pursuing its objectives.
The 15 elected members are:
- Mr Mohamed Boussalh, Site Manager of Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou, Morocco
- Ms Karima Sadki, Site Manager of Kasbah of Algiers, Algerie
- Ms Hamida Rhouma, Site Manager of Dougga/Thugga, Tunisia
- Mr Todini Runganga, Site Manager of Khami Ruins National Monument, Zimbabwe
- Mr Maganathan Pillay, Site Manager of Fossil Hominid Sites of South Africa, South Africa
- Ms Tendai Zihove, Site Manager of Great Zimbabwe National Monument, Zimbabwe
- Ms Mercy Exson Mbogelah, Site Manager of Ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Ruins of Songo Mnara, the United Republic of Tanzania,
- Mr Mikael Tesfaye, Site Manager of Aksum, Ethiopia
- Ms Fatma Twahir, Site Manager of Fort Jesus, Kenya
- Mr Gilbert Oum Ndjock, Site Manager of Dja Faunal Reserve, Cameroon
- Mr Biluka Nsakala Nsenga, Site Manager of Mbanza Congo, Angola
- Mr Rodrigue Mugaruka Katembo, Site Manager of Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Mahecor Diouf, Site Manager of Saloum Delta, Senegal
- El-Boukhari Ben, Essayouti Site Manager of Timbuktu, Mali
- Ms Natalyn Oye Ado, Site Manager of Forts and Castles Volta, Greater Accra, Ghana
On 22 December 2022, the first meeting of the Standing Committee took place online to elect its bureau. On this occasion, Mr Souayibou Varissou, Executive Director of the African World Heritage Fund (AWHF) and Mr Espera Donouvossi, Head of the Youth Heritage Africa Program at ICCROM congratulated the elected members and highlighted the strategic role of the Network in implementing the World Heritage Convention.
The 5 members of the Bureau of the Standing Committee, shown in the image above, are:
- Chairperson - Ms Fatma Twahir (centre)
- Vice Chairperson - Mr El-Boukhari Ben Essayouti (left)
- Secretary General – Ms Hamida Rhouma (top)
- Deputy Secretary General - Mr Mikael Tesfaye (upper right)
- Treasurer - Ms Mercy Exson Mbogelah (lower right)
Thanks to the continuous support of UNESCO, ICCROM, the African World Heritage Fund (AWHF), École Du Patrimoine Africain (EPA) and financial support from the Government of the People’s Republic of China, the elected Standing Committee will begin their term of office on 1 January 2023 and will continue to meet regularly to plan for the activities of the African Site Managers Network in 2023-2024.