Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, African Union 05 December 2018: The African Union Commission hosted the 24th Boarding of Trustees Meeting of the African World Heritage Fund, for induction of the new board members and to appoint a new executive director of the Fund as well as to follow up on the implementation of a number of decisions that emanated from the 23rd Board Meeting held in Johannesburg, South Africa in July 2018.
In her opening remarks, H.E. Amira Elfadil, Commissioner for Social Affairs, praised the achievements and programmes undertaken by the African World Heritage Fund (AWHF) including the World Heritage nomination training courses which began to bear fruits. “This has increased the quality of nominations and led to new African inscriptions in the World Heritage List.” She said.
More so, she pointed out to the African Union Model Law on the Protection of Cultural Property and Heritage which was endorsed at the African Union 3rd Session of the Specialized Technical Committee on Youth, Culture and Sport (STC-YCS3) that took place in Algiers, Algeria from the 21st to 25th October 2018. She thanked the African World Heritage Fund (AWHF) for providing support towards the development of the Model Law.
In conclusion, the Commissioner for Social Affairs stated that the AUC through the Bureau of the Chairperson and the Department of Social Affairs has mobilized the African Union Member States to contribute financially to the Fund by organizing a fundraising event at the sidelines of the African Union Heads of State Summit in January 2014. She stressed the AUC readiness to organize more fundraising events at Heads of State and Government level to sensitize Member States to further contribute to cultural and natural heritage conservation and protection on the continent as well as raising awareness on the issue.
The representative of the Chairperson of the African World Heritage Fund (AWHF) Ambassador Rapulane Molekane in his remarks expressed his gratitude to the African Union and its hosting country the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia “our pride to be here also comes from the fact that Ethiopia is one of the African countries with the highest number of world heritage sites (9) and one of the African Countries having the fastest growth.” He said.
Ambassador Molekane further mentioned that the African World Heritage Fund (AWHF) was established in 2006 and is still very relevant to ensure that through effective investment and management, African World heritage sites are a catalyst in transforming the continent’s image, stimulating Socio-economic growth and sustainable development for the benefit of African populations.
In the same context, Mr. Yonas Desta the Ethiopian representative of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism welcomed the delegation of the African World Heritage Fund and its Board of Trustees to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, referring that his country has been following with attention and a keen interest the work of the Fund.
In addition, he expressed Ethiopia’s willingness to host the Board of Trustees regularly in collaboration with the African Union.