Two new UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Africa for 2009
The information below includes material excerpted from the news releases of UNESCO:
The Ruins of Loropéni (Burkina Faso). Cultural Site
The 11,130m2 property, the first to be inscribed in the country, with its imposing stone walls is the best preserved of ten fortresses in the Lobi area and is part of a larger group of 100 stone enclosures that bear testimony to the power of the trans-Saharan gold trade. Situated near the borders of Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Togo, the ruins have recently been shown to be at least 1,000 years old. The settlement was occupied by the Lohron or Koulango peoples, who controlled the extraction and transformation of gold in the region when it reached its apogee from the 14th to the 17th century. Much mystery surrounds this site large parts of which have yet to be excavated. The settlement seems to have been abandoned during some periods during its long history. The property which was finally deserted in the early 19th century is expected to yield much more information.
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Cidade Velha, Historic Centre of Ribeira Grande (Cape Verde). Cultural Site
The town of Ribeira Grande, renamed Cidade Velha in the late 18th century, was the first European colonial outpost in the tropics. Located in the south of the island of Santiago, the town features some of the original street layout impressive remains including two churches, a royal fortress and Pillory Square with its ornate 16th-century marble pillar.
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2008 saw the addition of 2 sites, while 2007 added 4 in Africa. That brings the total to 78 out of 890, or 8.8% of the World Heritage Sites in Africa, up 0.2%. Both Burkina Faso and Cape Verde added their first World Heritage Sites this year, raising the total to 29 African nations with some WHS status.
The full list is available, with convenient statistics and interactive maps at the UNESCO World Heritage Site website.
Some five years into the life of Afrika T, I now find myself unable to keep up with contributions at a level that I and you have come to expect from this blog. Partly this is because of other activities in responsible tourism (see example here, and another here), partly from other projects in sustainability (see examples here and here), and partly for reasons that are more personal.
I am certainly still active online and in responsible travel, so feel free to comment on existing posts here, to follow me on Twitter, and to note what I've been reading online via Delicious. I also hope to return to Afrika T, so am not bringing the blog to a halt, just declaring a hiatus of indefinite duration...
Thank you for your support over the years, and, if you're a newcomer to the site, may it still prove valuable.
5 December 2011