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Government of China Funds

for Capacity Building and cooperation for World Heritage in Africa

The commitment of the Government of China to support UNESCO in safeguarding the World Heritage in Africa started in 2014, with a focus on preventing negative impacts of mining activities in African countries on the conservation of cultural and natural heritage.

In 2016, with financial support from the Chinese Government, the Conference on “Safeguarding African World Heritage as a Driver of Sustainable Development" was organized in Arusha (United Republic of Tanzania), which adopted the landmark Ngorongoro Declaration, reaffirming the importance of heritage for preserving and promoting culture, and as a driver of sustainable development. The Funds also supported production of the follow-up publication “World Heritage for Sustainable Development in Africa” and a travelling exhibition entitled “African World Heritage: a pathway for development”.

The Funds continued to support follow-up activities to the Arusha Conference in 2017 and 2018, including the World Heritage and Educational Institutions in Africa initiative and the COMPACT (Engaging Local Communities in the Stewardship of World Heritage) initiative from a cultural angle.

In 2019, further commitment enabled the organization of the “UNESCO-Africa-China Forum on World Heritage Capacity Building and Cooperation” at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris (France), which concluded with Recommendations and an Action Plan for joint projects supporting long-term capacity building for the safeguarding of African World Heritage properties.

The funding from Government of China is instrumental to improve the representation of the Africa region on the World Heritage List as well as to enhance the capacity of the professionals on World Heritage conservation and management. The funding is supporting the finalization of the nomination dossiers of Zakouma National Park (Chad), Diy-Gid-Biy Cultural Landscape (Cameroon) as an extension of Sukur Cultural Landscape (Nigeria), World Heritage property, Surame Cultural Landscape (Nigeria), and the extension of Koutammakou, the Land of the Batammariba as a transboundary site (Benin and Togo). Capacity-building activities are also supported in Congo, Ethiopia, Gabon, Mali, Uganda, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, the United Republic of Tanzania and others.

Partnership/Activities

  • Updating of the status of the Surame Cultural Landscape site for an inscription on the World Heritage List
  • Finalization of the mapping and update of the management plan for the nomination dossier for Zakouma National Park on the World Heritage List
  • Prefeasibility study for the nomination of “Diy-Gid-Biy Cultural Landscape” on the World Heritage List
  • Supporting the inventory of Gabon's cultural heritage
  • Supporting the States Parties of Benin and Togo for the preparation of the nomination dossier of Koutammakou, the Land of the Batammariba as a transboundary site
  • Capacity building in risk management and protection systems in for 6 African countries (Uganda, Benin, Togo, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and the United Republic of Tanzania)
  • Enhancing the Implementation Capacity of the 1972 Convention at the Natural World Heritage sites in Ethiopia
  • Establishing the National Committee of World Heritage in Republic of Congo
  • Supporting the empowerment of local communities and the removing of the Mont Nimba Strict Nature Reserve (Côte d'Ivoire/Guinea) from the List in Danger
  • strengthening the capacity of the site managers and local communities for sustainable management of World Heritage Properties, and contributing to the ongoing government efforts of Inclusive National Dialogue for peace and development in Mali
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