Five African Heritage sites inscribed into UNESCO World Heritage List
In 2011 the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation's (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee inscribed five African Sites on the World Heritage List.
The sites are:
FORT JESUS, Kenya (cultural site)
Fort Jesus is one of the world's most outstanding and well-preserved examples of 16th century Portuguese military architecture. The Fort was built by the Portuguese in 1593-1596 to the designs of Giovanni Battista Cairati to protect the port of Mombasa, and makes up an important landmark in the history of this type of construction. The Fort's layout and form reflected the Renaissance ideal that perfect proportions and geometric harmony are to be found in the human body. Viewed from the air, the fort makes up the shape of the human body. The property covers an area of 2.36 hectares and includes the fort's moat and immediate surroundings.
KENYA LAKES SYSTEM (natural site)
The Kenya Lakes System comprises three inter-linked lakes (Lake Bogoria, Lake Nakuru and Lake Elementaita) in the Rift Valley Province of Kenya. It is home to 13 globally threatened bird species and some of the highest bird diversities in the world. It is the single most important foraging site for the Lesser Flamingo, and a major nesting and breeding ground for the Great White Pelican. The property features sizeable mammal populations, including black rhino, Rothschild's giraffe, greater kudu, lion, cheetah and wild dogs and is valuable for the study of
ecological processes of major importance.
KONSO CULTURAL LANDSCAPE, Ethiopia (cultural site)
Konso Cultural Landscape is a 55km2 arid property of stone walled terraces and fortified settlements in the Konso highlands of Ethiopia. It constitutes a spectacular example of a living cultural tradition stretching back 21 generations (more than 400 years) adapted to its dry hostile environment. The landscape demonstrates the shared values, social cohesion and engineering knowledge of its communities. The site also features anthropomorphic wooden statues - grouped to represent respected members of their communities and particularly heroic events - which are an exceptional living testimony to funerary traditions that are on the verge of disappearing. Stone steles in the towns express a complex system of marking the passing of generations of leaders.
SALOUM DELTA, Senegal (cultural site)
The Saloum Delta, formed by the arms of three rivers, encompasses over 200 islands and islets, mangrove forest, an Atlantic marine environment, and dry forest. The 5000km2 large property is not only a valued breeding ground for birds, but accommodates 218 shellfish mounds, burial sites and artefacts, which make up important features in our common understanding for human culture and activity along the coast of West Africa.
ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES OF THE ISLAND OF MEROE, Sudan
The Archaeological Sites of the Island of Meroe, a semi-desert landscape between the Nile and Atbara rivers, was the heartland of the Kingdom of Kush, a major power from the 8th century B.C. to the 4th century A.D. The property consists of the royal city of the Kushite kings at Meroe, near the River Nile, the nearby religious site of Naqa and Musawwarat es Sufra. It was the seat of the rulers who occupied Egypt for close to a century and features, among other vestiges, pyramids, temples and domestic buildings as well as major installations connected to water management. Their vast empire extended from the Mediterranean to the heart of Africa, and the property testifies to the exchange between the art, architectures, religions and languages of both regions.