Mbanza Kongo in Angola
Mbanza Kongo is the vestiges of the capital of the former Kingdom of Kongo (Angola) and is now the first World Heritage site in Angola. The town of Mbanza Kongo is located on a plateau at an altitude of 570 metres and was the political and spiritual capital of the Kingdom of Kongo, one of the largest constituted states in Southern Africa from the 14th to 19thcenturies. The historical area grew around the royal residence, the customary court and the holy tree, as well as the royal funeral places. Mbanza Kongo illustrates, more than anywhere in sub-Saharan Africa, the profound changes caused by the introduction of Christianity and the arrival of the Portuguese into Central Africa.
W Arly Pendjari Complex in (Benin/ Burkina Faso)
W Arly Pendjari Complex (Benin, Burkina Faso) is a natural trans-boundary property between Niger, Benin and Burkina Faso and is now the first Natural World Heritage Site in Benin and Burkina Faso. It covers a major expanse of intact Sudano-Sahelian savannah, with vegetation types including grasslands, shrub lands, wooded savannah and extensive gallery forests. It includes the largest and most important continuum of terrestrial, semi-aquatic and aquatic ecosystems in the West African savannah belt. The property is a refuge for wildlife species that have disappeared or are highly threatened. It is home to the largest population of elephants in West Africa and most of the large mammals typical of the region, such as the African Manatee, cheetah, lion, and leopard. W Arly Pendjari Complex also harbours the only viable population of lions in the region.
Asmara: a Modernist City of Africa in Eritrea
Asmara is the capital of Eritrea located at over 2000 metres above sea level. It developed from the 1890’s onwards as a military outpost for the Italian colonial power. After 1935, Asmara underwent a large scale programme of construction applying the Italian rationalist idiom of the time to governmental edifices, residential and commercial buildings, churches, mosques, synagogues, cinemas, hotels, etc. The property encompasses the area of the city that resulted from various phases of planning between 1893 and 1941, as well as the indigenous unplanned neighbourhoods of Arbate Asmera and Abbashawel. It is an exceptional example of early modernist urbanism at the beginning of the 20thcentury and its application in an African context.
Khomani Cultural Landscape in South Africa
ǂKhomani Cultural Landscape is located at the border with Botswana and Namibia in the northern part of the country, coinciding with the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park (KGNP). The large expanse of sand contains evidence of human occupation from the Stone Age to the present and is associated with the culture of the formally nomade ǂKhomani San people and the strategies that allowed them to adapt to harsh desert conditions. They developed a specific ethnobotanical knowledge, cultural practices and a worldview related to the geographical features of their environment. The ǂKhomani Cultural Landscape bears testimony to the way of life that prevailed in the region and shaped the site over thousands of years. This makes it the ninth World Heritage Site to be inscribed in South Africa.