13.10.2014 - UNESCO Office in Dakar

UNESCO Dakar supports West Africa’s exceptional World Heritage

Goree Island, a site of memory looking towards the future ©UNESCO/M. Haapasalo

UNESCO’s Regional Office in Dakar is working to raise awareness about 18 fascinating World Heritage sites located in the seven countries covered by the Office, including: Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, the Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger and Senegal (see the list below).

Despite the world renown of these sites, they are often faced with threats such as civil conflict, pollution/climate change, development/uncontrolled urbanization that have negative effects on their World Heritage values.

The sites range from cultural sites linked to the slave trade and history such as Kunta Kinteh Island and Gorée Island to natural wonders and protected habitats such as Air and Ténéré Natural Reserve to the cultural landscapes of Delta de Saloum or Historic Centers like Cidade Velha. They all sites symbolize the richness and diversity of West Africa’s history, culture and landscape.

Protect for future generations

UNESCO is providing financial and technical support to countries in West Africa in order to ensure that their World Heritage sites are promoted and protected for future generations.

“Our experience in West Africa shows that countries need appropriate financial support to manage their sites effectively as well as strong technical support for sustainable results", highlights Guiomar Alonso Cano, Head of Culture for the UNESCO Dakar Office.

Wide range of support

UNESCO supports these countries through different funding and technical assistance mechanisms including:

Contributions of World Heritage

World Heritage can make an important contribution to social, economic and environmental development goals, including employment and preservation of natural and cultural resources. UNESCO’s support to the implementation of the 1972 World Heritage Convention in West Africa includes financial and technical assistance to States Parties in order to reinforce the protection of World’s Cultural and Natural Heritage properties.

Join us in supporting West Africa’s World Heritage sites

Volunteer to be a World Heritage Volunteer

Promote World Heritage Education in your schools

Become a responsible tourist at World Heritage sites

Partner with us

Offer financial support towards the conservation of a World Heritage site

Western Africa’s World Heritage sites:

Burkina Faso:

Cabo Verde:

The Gambia:




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