African Group at UNESCO courts support for African World Heritage Fund

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The Africa Group at UNESCO is working to secure more funding for African World Heritage Fund which is dedicated to listing more heritage sites on the continent for protection and conservation.

This is according to Ambassador Albertus Aochamub, Chair of the Africa Group at UNESCO made this known during an interview with VoyagesAfriq in Namibia.

Annually, the African member states of UNESCO elect, from their peers, a chair and Namibia was bestowed the honour for 2021. The Group is divided into sub-groups such as the Southern, Central, West Africa with own their chairpersons. Together with those chairs, they constitute the Bureau of the Africa Group under Namibian leadership.

The Group principally work to try and reach a consensus on key issues that concern Africa within UNESCO’s fields of competence. These could be about the return of 19 stolen artefacts to Africa, mitigating the impact of covid19 on education, AI and Ethics and so forth.

Overall, they ensure that one of the two (2) key tenets of UNESCO, namely, Priority Africa and Gender Equity are fully funded and implemented across all programmes of UNESCO.

According to Ambassador Aochamub, “We have two key strategies which are to build the technical capacity of member states to inscribe more sites on the global register. and adequately fund initiatives aimed at protection and conservation of sites in danger of delisting.”

“Our main job, in that context as the African Group at UNESCO, is to lobby partners across the world to support the work of the African World Heritage Fund,” he added. AWHF was established in 2006 as a Trust under South African law as the host country on behalf of the continent and was granted UNESCO category II status in 2009.

The institution is tasked to reverse a situation where African sites on the global list only represent a mere 12.22% of total inscriptions. And of the total African sites that are inscribed on the Global list, 16% are in danger.

“It is, therefore, our collective vehicle to drive all technical efforts aimed at the inscription of more African sites on the global register. So, we have work to do as a continent in increasing the number of sites on the global list and address the issues facing the sites in danger. We at the Africa Group at UNESCO are committed to playing our part in lobbying and raising awareness,” Ambassador Aochamub
posited.

This article was published in the 15th issue of VoyagesAfriq Travel Magazine

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