This May 5th was African World Heritage Day. This year, the date is celebrated under the motto “Art, culture and heritage: Levers for building the Africa we want”.
This Thursday's events coincide with the end of the 5th African World Heritage Youth Forum. A live music concert on Instagram will also highlight the date globally.
The continent's cultural, natural and tangible and intangible heritage is celebrated for the sixth year, to raise awareness of the benefits of its promotion and preservation. Another goal is to highlight the challenges facing the continent in this area.
Among them are climate change, armed conflicts and, more recently, the pandemic. Together, these factors oblige to ensure that regional heritage adapts and grows in these circumstances.
On the UNESCO World Heritage List (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), the continent has only 8.5% of all registered properties on the planet.
East Africa has 34 natural and cultural sites inscribed on the World Heritage List in Danger, a level considered underrepresented in the face of current threats.
With uncontrolled exploitation, poaching and instability, many World Heritage sites in Africa are at risk of losing universal value. Therefore, the date highlights the urgency to protect and preserve these resources for future generations.
In this regard, the African Union has declared 2021 as the “Year of the Arts, Culture and Heritage of the AU: Levers to Build the Africa We Want”.
Unesco celebrates and collaborates with the African World Heritage Fund and partners in the series of events scheduled for the continent highlighting the resilience, opportunities, wealth and solutions to challenges facing the African heritage.