The first site in Africa added to UNESCO World Heritage List at the extended 44th session of the World Heritage Committee
By Zhang Yizhi and Zhao Xuetong
FUZHOU, July 28 (Xinhua News Agency) -- On July 27, 2021, the extended 44th session of the World Heritage Committee decided to inscribe Côte d’Ivoire’s world heritage nomination proposal “Sudanese style mosques in northern Côte d’Ivoire” on the World Heritage List. This is the first African nomination that’s inscribed on the World Heritage List at the ongoing 44th session of the World Heritage Committee.
The world heritage site “Sudanese style mosques in northern Côte d’Ivoire” is composed of eight mosques located in northern Côte d’Ivoire which reflects the integration of Sudanese and local architectural styles and demonstrates adaptability of local architecture to the humid climate. The distinctive architectural features present highly important testimonies to the trans-Saharan trade.
Before the session, International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), a professional advisory agency, suggested that the nomination proposal be “rejected and renominated”. However, the World Heritage Committee considered that the nomination proposal met the requirements for inscription in terms of outstanding universal value, authenticity, integrity and protection and management. Many member states, including China, stated that Africa is underrepresented on the World Heritage List, and that African sites should be supported for inscription. The World Heritage Committee finally decided to include the nomination as a world cultural heritage in the World Heritage List. China is one of the co-signatories of the amendments to the draft decision that supports the inscription of the African nomination proposal on the World Heritage List.