African World Heritage Day Date in the current year: May 5, 2022

African World Heritage Day African World Heritage Day is observed annually on May 5. It was proclaimed by the General Conference of UNESCO in November 2015 to celebrate the natural and cultural heritage of Africa.

Despite being the world’s second-largest continent and its nickname “the cradle of humanity”, Africa is severely underrepresented on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, with African sites constituting a mere 12% of all World Heritage Sites.

At the same time, a disproportionate number of African properties are listed on the List of World Heritage in Danger; as of 2022, 23 of 52 properties on the list are located in Africa. They are endangered due to a wide range of threats, including civil unrest and instability, terrorism, armed conflicts, uncontrolled development, poaching, illicit trafficking, unregulated tourism, oil exploration and mining, natural disasters, and climate change.

UNESCO established African World Heritage Day to educate the general public about Africa’s natural and cultural heritage and its immense potential, raise awareness of the vulnerability of this heritage, and highlight the importance of the preservation and enhancement of the African heritage to the sustainable development of the region.

The date of the observance, May 5, was chosen to commemorate the founding anniversary of the African World Heritage Fund, an intergovernmental organization launched in 2006 to support the protection and conservation of Africa’s natural and cultural heritage in order to transform the international image of Africa and stimulate infrastructure development and economic growth.

One of the main tasks of African World Heritage Day is to mobilize local communities, especially young people, around the safeguarding of African’s heritage and its preservation for future generations. At the same time, the observance strives to raise global awareness about the urgent need to protect the cultural and natural heritage of Africa and mobilize enhanced cooperation on the local, regional and global level.

African World Heritage Day events and activities are held all over the world as part of international cultural cooperation. They include, but are not limited to, open lectures and discussions, radio and television broadcasts, free or discounted guided tours and visits to cultural and natural sites, exhibitions celebrating Africa’s heritage, various cultural events (film screenings, concerts, theater performances), book presentations, award raising activities in schools and other educational institutions, sports competitions, social media campaigns, volunteer activities, and more.

There are many ways to observe African World Heritage Day. You can participate in official events hosted by UNESCO, the African World Heritage Fund and their partners, read or watch a documentary about famous historic sites located in Africa or outstanding Africans, read a book written by an African author, watch a movie set in Africa, and, of course, spread the word on social media using the hashtag #AfricanWorldHeritageDay.

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Category

International Observances, Ecological Observances, Cultural Observances

Tags

African World Heritage Day, international observances, international awareness days, African heritage, African World Heritage Day