The African World Heritage Fund (AWHF) to celebrate its 10th Anniversary with the first African World Heritage Regional Youth Forum

World Heritage FundThe much anticipated first leg of the 10th  anniversary celebrations will be an African World Heritage Regional Youth Forum hosted by the African World Heritage Fund (AWHF) in partnership with the South African Government and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre.

The forum will take place at the Robben Island World Heritage Site in Cape Town from 28 April to 04 May 2016 with a total of 29 young individuals from 24 African countries – Botswana, Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The young participants will exchange experiences, discuss common concerns, and discover new roles for themselves in World Heritage conservation.

This event will serve to promote the involvement of the youth in conservation activities, site management, disaster risk management and sustainable tourism development initiatives at Africa’s natural and cultural World Heritage properties. The discussions of the forum will deliver essential feedback to UNESCO, the World Heritage Committee and the African World Heritage Fund (AWHF) on youth challenges, accomplishments and actions related to the implementation of the World Heritage Convention in the region.

The African World Heritage Fund is an initiative of the African Member States of UNESCO and the African Union (AU) which was launched on 5th May 2006 at Sterkfontein in South Africa to support the effective conservation and protection of natural and cultural heritage of Outstanding Universal Value in Africa. Celebrating its 10th Anniversary, the African World Heritage Fund will host a two week-long programme entailing amongst others, lectures, presentations from experts and heritage specialists as well as group discussions and workshops including the Youth Forum.

The Executive Director of the Fund, Dr. Webber Ndoro said, “The Forum is aimed at addressing young people and seeks to provide a sustainable platform for youth in Africa to actively participate and contribute towards the promotion and protection of World Heritage in Africa”. “We are delighted to have the first world heritage youth forum here in South Africa”, he added.

Through the increased participation of African youth in World Heritage protection and promotion, this activity shall promote holistic youth development and raise their sense of ownership, stewardship and accountability for heritage protection and transmission.

This Regional African Youth Forum will be attended by various dignitaries including the Minister of Tourism of South Africa, Mr. Derek Hanekom who will give a keynote address at the Opening Ceremony while the Closing Ceremony will feature the Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture, Ms Rejoice Thizwilondi Mabudafhasi where she will deliver her keynote address.  The Acting Director General of the Ministry of Arts and Culture and also Chairperson of the African World Heritage Fund, Mr. Vusithemba Ndima will be in attendance to give remarks. The Opening Ceremony will take place at the Nelson Mandela Gateway, Clock Tower, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town on 29th April at 10:00am to 11:30am and all members of the media are welcome.

For further informationand rsvps to the event, kindly contact Ms. Luyanda Sithole on 0797461539 or email at luyandas@dbsa.org

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