By Anastasia Paulus
WINDHOEK – Former president Hifikepunye Pohamba has teamed up with the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture to help raise money for the African World Heritage Fund (AWHF), of which he is one of the patrons of the intergovernmental organisation.
Pohamba will host a business leaders breakfast event on September 14, 2017 in Windhoek. The event seeks to engage the private sector to participate on issues of World Natural and Cultural Heritage protection and promotion.
“This fund raising event will create an opportunity for the private sector companies, entities, consortiums and individuals from Namibia and other countries to make pledges in order to advance the objectives of the Fund,” said Luyanda Sithole, the AWHF’s communications officer.
Launched in 2006, as an is an initiative of the African Member States of UNESCO and the African Union, AWHF mission is to support the effective conservation and protection of natural and cultural heritage of outstanding universal value in Africa.
The Minister of Education, Arts and Culture Katrina Hanse-Himarwa says the Government of Namibian has supported the operations of the heritage fund for many years through an agreement that was signed in 2014.
“Our government has hosted a number of AWHF activities including the capacity building training courses in heritage management and nominations of sites to the prestigious UNESCO World heritage list. This has directly benefited heritage professionals in Namibia. It is important that other African countries and partners must come out to also support the Fund’s activities in various way”, Hanse-Himarwa said in statement issued by the AWHF, about the breakfast event.
Pohamba who ruled Namibia from 2005 to 2015 is currently one of four Patrons of the African World Heritage Fund. Others are Pedro de Verona Rodrigues, the former president of Cabo Verde, Canadian heritage expert, Dr. Christina Cameron and Phuthuma Nhleko, a South African prominent businessman.
In the same statement, Pohamba remarked about the importance of preserving cultural heritage in Africa.
“As identified in the Agenda 2063 of the Africa Union, issues of heritage underpin who we are as Africans and this defines our aspirations and unity as a continent. It is very crucial as a country and continent to strengthen our support for the work of the Fund in order to allow it to help address the enormous challenges faced by the Heritages places in the continent and here at home.
A collective investment in the Fund by Sates Parties as well as private sector will go a long way towards building good practices for our heritage resources”, he is quoted as saying.