African countries have a rich and varied cultural heritage with huge potential to facilitate and promote social cohesion and sustainable development in the region.
The challenge is to build on this varied cultural heritage and help fledgling economies benefit from sustainable development. Africa’s cultural environment requires the strengthening of institutional and individual capacities.
Partnership with UNESCO will be an opportunity to help strengthen:
- policies and professional capacities necessary to ensure the effective protection, safeguarding and promotion of heritage;
- respect for cultural identities and the development of viable cultural and creative industries as drivers for growth and peace;
- efforts to combat prejudice, racism and discrimination and to foster reconciliation and new ways of living together undertaken in the context of the International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024).
In recent decades, UNESCO has developed a standard setting framework that is internationally recognized for its relevance and coherence and which provides a unique global platform for international cooperation and dialogue. It establishes a holistic cultural governance system within a human rights-based approach, building on shared values, mutual commitments respecting cultural diversity, the free flow of ideas and collective responsibility. The implementation of the Organization’s Conventions, Recommendations, Declarations and its Intergovernmental Programmes engages Member States in dialogue and cooperation at the regional and international level, thereby facilitating inclusive governance, sharing knowledge and best practices at the policy level.