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African World Heritage Day 2024

Authored by Tommy Dolan
Published on 5th May, 2024 2 min read

African World Heritage Day

African World Heritage Day (05/05/2024) was proclaimed at the 38th General Conference of UNESCO in 2015. It provides an opportunity to celebrate and reflect upon Africa’s vibrant cultural and natural heritage, encouraging us to give thought to the continent’s unique contribution to the world, and to contemplate how this heritage can be preserved for the enjoyment of future generations. As the Director-General of UNESCO, Ms Audrey Azoulay, has highlighted recently, the “richness and diversity of this heritage are embodied in natural sites of breathtaking beauty, which are often home to a unique biodiversity, such as the Ivindo National Park in Gabon, listed as a world heritage site since 2021, and the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda.”[1]

Ms Azoulay has likewise drawn attention to UNESCO’s commitment “to enable African populations, and especially the continent’s young people, to reclaim their heritage and history, and to see them better recognized by international bodies”.[2] This is a pressing task, given that Africa is underrepresented on the World Heritage List. Add to this that an alarmingly high percentage of these sites are on the List of World Heritage in Danger. UNESCO is therefore collaborating with its Member States and its partners, including the African World Heritage Fund, in order to support 12 African countries without a site inscribed on the World Heritage List. The objective is that by 2025 all of them will have submitted a nomination file. UNESCO has also committed to training hundreds of experts in site conservation and the use of digital technologies.

British Online Archives would like to wish everyone a happy African World Heritage Day.

[1] “Message from Ms Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of African World Heritage Day 5 May 2023”, available at

[2] Ibid.

Authored by Tommy Dolan

Tommy Dolan

Tommy Dolan is Senior Editor at British Online Archives. He gained his PhD in History from the University of Edinburgh in 2016. Between 2019 and 2022 he was a post-doctoral fellow on the Leverhulme-funded project 'Rethinking Civil Society: History, Theory, Critique' at the University of York. He then joined the metadata team at the University of York library. Tommy has published in the Historical Journal, the Journal of the History of European Ideas, and Studia Hibernica. His research focuses on the way in which readings of history have influenced political thought in Ireland, particularly with respect to the architects of the Northern Ireland Peace Process. Tommy is currently also co-editor of Writing the Troubles.

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The British Online Archives Notable Days diary is a platform intended to mark key dates and events throughout the year. The posts draw attention to historical events and figures, as well as recurring cultural traditions and international awareness days, in both religious and secular contexts.

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