Local businesses support heritage fund

14 Sep 2017 17:20pm
WINDHOEK, 14 SEP (NAMPA) – Over N.dollars 300 000 was pledged to the African World Heritage Fund (AWHF) on Thursday, with more than half of the pledges coming from local businesspeople and financial institutions.
The pledges were made during a breakfast meeting with the aim of sourcing funds for the AWHF.
Some diplomats stationed here also vowed to contribute money.
Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, in her speech delivered on her behalf, announced that her ministry had signed another three-year funding agreement to support the operations of the AWHF.
The minister also announced that the Namibian Government will contribute N.dollars 1 million per year over a three-year period to support the preservation of heritage sites in Africa of which Namibia has two such sites, namely the Namib Sand Sea and Twyfelfontein.
Namibia, according to Hanse-Himarwa, has greatly benefited from the work of the fund through the training of heritage professionals on many aspects of heritage management as well as the enlisting of Namib Sand Sea on the World Heritage List in 2013.
The minister urged the private sector to seek business opportunities within the heritage sector through public private partnerships.
The AWHF is an initiative of the African Union and African member states of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) that signed the 1972 Unesco World Heritage Convention.
The fund was created to support the African state parties in implementing the Unesco Convention on the conservation and protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage.
The AWHF, with former Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba as patron, was launched in May 2006 under the South African Trust Law.
South African Deputy Minister of Education, Magdeline Makhotso represented her government during the breakfast meeting.
Namib Sand Sea is a unique coastal fog desert encompassing a diverse array of large, shifting dunes. It lies along the coast of the south Atlantic within Namibia’s Namib-Naukluft Park over an area of 3 077 700 hectares.
Twyfelfontein in the Khorixas Constituency of the Kunene Region has one of the largest concentrations of rock engravings in Africa dating back to at least 2 000 years. It was enlisted by the World Heritage Committee in 2007.