Launching Ceremony: “Improving Management Effectiveness of World Heritage in Africa”

Wednesday, 6 April 2022 at 11:00
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UNESCO and ICCROM held an online ceremony to mark the launch of their joint initiative “Improving Management Effectiveness of World Heritage in Africa” with representatives from UNESCO World Heritage, ICCROM, IUCN, the Ambassadors of Japan, Norway, South Africa and Switzerland, and other participants. This event marks the end of the first set of activities (from 6 December 2021 to 24 January 2022).

This initiative consists of a three-phased programme of concerted online training and technical  activities to support the management effectiveness of African World Heritage properties and other heritage places in the region with the potential to be inscribed on the World Heritage List in the future.

In his opening remarks, the Director of UNESCO World Heritage, Mr Lazare Eloundou Assomo, recalled that the project already represents a remarkable achievement in many ways with the encouraging statistics on participation and outreach testimonies. It has emerged that 85 experts from 25 countries from all the four sub-regions of the Africa region benefitted from this programme delivered in three languages (English, French, and Portuguese).

By highlighting the crucial contribution of this project to the empowerment of young, female experts in Africa, as thirty per cent (30%) of participants were women, Dr Webber Ndoro, the Director of ICCROM, said that “It is an example of how we should be working together, hence the need for capacity building in Africa”. Mr Tim Badman, IUCN, recalled the importance of strengthening the collaboration between UNESCO and the Advisory Bodies by continuing this and other capacity development projects on the continent.

H.E. Mr Tebogo Seokolo, Ambassador of South Africa and Vice-Chairperson of Va Committee Group, expressed gratitude to the support by the Governments of Japan, Norway, and Switzerland to this activity, and reiterated the need for continuing investing in Africa and capitalising on the participation and mobilisation of African Youth to protect and promote UNESCO World Heritage.

H.E. Mr Atsuyuki Oike, Ambassador of Japan, H.E. Mr Per Egil Selvaag, Ambassador of Norway, and H.E. Ms Muriel Berset Kohen, Ambassador of Switzerland, praised this initiative's contribution to furthering inter-regional networking and knowledge-sharing and enhancing Africa's representativity on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Thanks to the support of the Governments of Japan and Norway, this initiative proudly supported 25 countries in the Africa region: Angola, Benin, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eswatini, Guinea Bissau, Madagascar, Mozambique, Liberia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and Zambia.

“This training has been very key especially to us South Sudan because already we have three heritage sites that are on the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage sites. Before this training, we did not have such tools for improving management effectiveness in World Heritage sites”.

Oyuru Igama (South Sudan)

“I must admit that the training program was exceptional. I admired all the facilitators for being patient and responding to our doubts. (…) This training gives us (Liberians) the zest to pursue our own.”

Menladi Lormie (Liberia)