Sub-Saharan Africa is under-represented numerically by the number of World Heritage Sites inscribed in that region yet a significant number of these sites are under threat from the combined and linked processes of poverty, war, environmental change and increasingly globalized economic and communication systems. Cultural resource management provision across the region's countries suffers from severe under-resourcing and a limited skills base. In order to redress this imbalance greater emphasis needs to be placed on examining more sustainable mechanisms for developing research and management strategies for the future protection of Africa's archaeological resource. World Heritage inscription has become an all-consuming process, draining resources and diverting attention away from broader heritage provisions. As an integral part of this process archaeology needs to become embedded within the international development framework where it can become an advocacy voice for community and for poverty alleviation and contribute to the debate on environment and climate change. This can be achieved only once the specialized heritage agencies become less exclusive and more integrated within international frameworks of development and reconstructive work. Existing NGOs have an intrinsic role to play in this process and will need to adopt cultural heritage into their sphere of interest and expertise.
|Publication status||Published - Sep 2007|