1.         Island of Gorée (Senegal) (C 26)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1978

Criteria  (vi)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/26/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1981-1981)
Total amount approved: USD 73,700
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/26/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions


Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/26/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2003

The site, which is the principal tourism destination in Senegal, has been the subject of an international safeguarding campaign for a number of years. From 2000 to 2001, the site has been under urban development pressure due to a hotel construction project by a local company, although the Municipality of Gorée had not authorized this construction. Fortunately, the Ministry of Culture of Senegal and the Municipality of Gorée managed to halt the construction before the site was irreversibly altered. Despite the fact that a National Committee for the safeguarding of Gorée was created and works undertaken in co-operation with UNESCO for the protection of the Island, there is still a lack of capacity in management (the site does not yet have a site manager).

On 20 June 2002, in Paris (Musée Grevin), the President of Senegal, His Excellency Mr. Abdoulaye Wade, met with the Director-General of UNESCO, Mr. Koichiro Matsuura. During the meeting, President Wade informed the Director-General of the creation of the “Gorée Island Foundation” to enable the generation of financial resources for Gorée and emphasized the danger being faced by the Island of Gorée due to development pressure.

Within the Africa 2009 Programme training activities, one of the professionals working for the Slave House of Goree, attended the 4th Regional Course on Management and Conservation of immovable cultural heritage (2002). Furthermore, during his visit to the Centre, the Director of the Senegal Culture Department informed the Centre that the authorities are planning to demolish the monument erected on the site. 

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM


Decision Adopted: 27 COM 7B.33

The World Heritage Committee [19],

1. Noting with satisfaction the action undertaken by the State Party to protect the property,;

2. Invites the State Party, in accordance with Articles 4 and 5 of the World Heritage Convention, to take the necessary administrative measures for an in situ management of the property and to recruit a manager for the property;

3. Requests ICOMOS and the World Heritage Centre to organize a mission to the property, in consultation with the national authorities, in order to establish the state of conservation of the property and advise the World Heritage Committee on the opportunity to inscribe it on the List of World Heritage in Danger;

4. Congratulates the Senegalese authorities for the efforts undertaken to preserve the property's World Heritage value and encourages Senegal to implement awareness-raising initiatives in order to avoid new construction activities at the property.

[19]  Decision adopted without discussion.