Eswatini embarks on journey to have first World Heritage Site nomination

Eswatini has embarked on a journey to have its first World Heritage Site nomination. With support from UNESCO, the country convened a five-day training session for national authorities, experts and other relevant stakeholders on the 1972 World Heritage Convention from 31 January to 4 February 2022. 

Facilitated by world heritage expert, Pascal Taruvinga, the training specifically focused on methods for updating the Eswatini World Heritage tentative list, the development of nomination dossiers, strengthening of national capacity for nomination and conservation, and the establishment of the national World Heritage Committee at inter-ministerial level. 

The Minister of Education and Training, Hon. Lady Howard- Mabuza; Minister of Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Hon. Moses Vilakati; the Secretary General of the Eswatini National Commission for UNESCO, Ms Phumzile Hlophe; and the Director of World Heritage Centre, Lazare Eloundou headlined the opening ceremony of the workshop. 

Minister Lady Howard- Mabuza appreciated efforts by UNESCO to capacitate stakeholder in Eswatini on the process of updating the Eswatini World Heritage Tentative list and nomination process. She highlighted the importance of having sites in Eswatini listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. 

I am highly elated and appreciative to UNESCO for affording our country this rare opportunity of training on how to go about nominating a World Heritage site………. it is very significant that as a country we do have well established (World) Heritage Sites which will contribute to the global tourism and the economic gains thereof for us as emaSwati (The Swatis).
Hon. Lady Howard- Mabuza, Minister of Education and Training

The workshop was conducted within the project “Capacity-building Programme for the nomination of World Heritage sites in the Africa Region” (2021-2024) under the Japanese Fund in Trust. The project targets to support 10 countries in the African region without inscribed property (Eswatini included) to develop strong and credible nomination dossiers. 

In his remarks delivered via video presentation, the Deputy Permanent Delegate of Japan to UNESCO, Mr. Keiji INOUE said Japan was honored to contribute and support the Kingdom of Eswatini in the implementation of the project in order to increase the number of African sites on the World Heritage list. 

Although African countries are putting greater emphasis on the realization of a more credible and balanced World Heritage List, African cultural and national heritage sites are still underrepresented on the World Heritage list.
Mr. Keiji INOUE, Deputy Permanent Delegate of Japan to UNESCO

The methodology used included a three day in person training, site visits to Heritage Sites and Bilateral meetings with ministry officials and government experts. The assessment and activity report will be shared soon. 

Outcomes of the meeting include. 

  • A workplan to the implementation of the project, 
  • A needs assessment report to the process to update the Tentative List World Heritage, especially and the development of nomination dossiers.