#National News

NCAC, NATCOM-UNESCO commemorate African World Heritage Day

May 9, 2022, 12:29 PM | Article By: Yunus S Saliu

The National Centre for Arts and Culture (NCAC) and NATCOM-UNESCO Gambia on Thursday jointly commemorated African World Heritage Day in Banjul.

The African World Heritage Day celebration is an opportunity for the world, particularly Africans to celebrate the continent’s unique and natural heritage.

Speaking on behalf of the Director General for National Centre for Arts and Culture, Mamat Sallah, Assistant Director Museums and Monuments said with the theme for this year’s celebration, ‘African Heritage as a Source for Humanity, Innovation, and Resilience’, NCAC and NATCOM-UNESCO have joined efforts to celebrate the beauty, majesty and value of The Gambia’s World Heritage Properties.

He noted that in 2003, the Kunta Kinteh Island and its related sites were inscribed into the UNESCO World Heritage List and in 2006, Stone Circles of Senegambia were also inscribed into the World Heritage List as a trans-boundary property.

“The Gambia, therefore, boasts of its numerous World Heritage Properties, which have the potential to strengthen humanity through forging closer ties with and between communities to nurture and sustain peace and tranquility,” he disclosed.

He added that, World Heritage Sites are places of reflection for the betterment of communities through skills acquisition, reconciliation and education. “Through the World Heritage Sites, we can support youth to innovate and thereby make the sites even more relevant to the needs and aspirations of the host communities,’ he further said.

Mr Sallah added that, The Gambia’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites have great potential to improve livelihoods and support strong and sustainable resilient communities against hunger, unemployment and the negative effects of climate change.

Reading the statement of UNESCO on behalf of the acting secretary general of NATCOM-UNESCO Gambia, Lamin Jarjou, senior programme officer for NATCOM-UNESCO said, “since the proclamation of African World Heritage Day in 2015 by the 38th session of the General Conference of UNESCO, every 5 May, African Cultural and Natural, Tangible and Intangible Heritage is celebrated across the globe,  raising awareness of the benefits of its promotion and preservation as well as the related challenges the continent faces.”

“In the face of climate change, armed conflict and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, among other challenges, African countries must ensure that their remarkable heritage is able to adapt and thrive in today’s environment.”

Assuring the NCAC of UNESCO’s continuous partnership, he thanked UNESCO multi-sectoral Regional Office in Dakar for funding the series of activities that marked the celebration of African World Heritage Day this year.

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