Workshop on World Heritage Interpretation and Presentation in Africa

29 Nov 2023

The Workshop on World Heritage Interpretation and Presentation in Africa, co-hosted by WHIPIC, the African World Heritage Fund (AWHF), and the National Heritage Committee of Namibia, took place from October 30 to November 2 in Namibia.

Workshop poster

This workshop marked the first international capacity-building workshop since the establishment of the centre. It was designed to contribute to realizing UNESCO's sustainable development goals and to enhance the interpretation skills of site managers at African heritage sites, identified as priority areas for support. Notably, the workshop's hosting involved collaboration not only from AWHF and the National Heritage Committee of Namibia but also from the Namibia Ministry of Education, Culture and the Arts and the UNESCO Windhoek Regional Office.

Onsite workshop group photo

Since theoretical lectures on interpretation and presentation were conducted during the online workshop last October, the on-site workshop focused on practical exercises where trainees actively engaged in making interpretations and discussing them. The session began with an opening speech by Deputy Director General Jaesoon Lee, addressing considerations in planning interpretation. The 18 trainees from 15 countries then had the opportunity to analyze their heritage interpretation. The training agenda included listening to presentations from Dr. John Kinahan and a field guide from the National Heritage Committee of Namibia during a field trip to Twyfelfontein or /Ui-//aes, a World Heritage Site in Namibia. Finally, at the closing ceremony, following four days of theoretical lectures, group activities, and field trips, the trainees were divided into two groups to present on the significance of interpreting African heritage and the Twyfelfontein or /Ui-//aes rock arts site in Namibia, along with outlining future improvement plans.

Onsite workshop excursion photo

After the workshop, WHIPIC, AWHF, and the Namibia National Heritage Committee plan to publish a compilation of African heritage interpretation case studies. This will involve reviewing each instructor's lecture and the presentation materials of the trainees. Furthermore, WHIPIC will collaborate with AWHF to implement an African World Heritage capacity-building project over the next four years, with intentions to sustain these efforts.


Trainees in group activities

International Centre for the Interpretation and Presentation of World Heritage Sites

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