Two new sites in Southern Africa awarded World Heritage Status

Two sites in Angola and South Africa have been awarded World Heritage Status by the United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). The historic center of the city of Mbanza Kongo in Angola’s northern Zaire Province and #Khomani Cultural Landscape in South Africa were both inscribed on the prestigious world heritage list at the 41st session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee this week.

The city of Mbanza Kongo was founded in the 13th century and was the largest village on the West Coast of Central Africa during the 17th Century. It was considered the political and spiritual capital of the ancient Kingdom of Kongo. According to UNESCO 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’.

The #Khomani Cultural Landscape in South Africa covers an area of 959,100 hectares in Dawid Kruiper District Municipality in the west of the country. The area is associated with the culture of the #Khomani and related San people who descend directly from an ancient population considered to be the ancestors of the entire human race. The #Khomani area is considered to be a unique link with the region’s ancient inhabitants, their culture, language, and connection to the environment which holds a spiritual dimension.

The #Khomani Cultural Landscape and city of Mbanza Kongo were two of three sites in Africa to be awarded World Heritage Status in this session of the committee. The third was Asmara in Eritrea.

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Robyn K