Pretoria – African leaders must take it upon themselves to teach the youth about the world around them by getting them interested in topics related to world heritage.
Arts and Culture Deputy Minister Rejoice Mabudafhasi on Wednesday said each country needs to play its part in contributing to this goal. She was addressing the closing ceremony of the African World Heritage Regional Youth Forum on Robben Island.
The Deputy Minister said the forum was a great opportunity for young people from all over Africa to exchange experiences, discuss common concerns, discover new roles for themselves in heritage conservation and have their voices heard.
“It is thus essential that this process continues to grow with hopefully the creation of annual youth forums in Africa. This will create a sustainable African youth network and a platform for the youth to respond to the ever increasing issues and challenges facing heritage in Africa,” Deputy Minister Mabudafhasi said.
She said with many African countries experiencing economic growth in the last decade, the relationship between sustainable development and world heritage conservation is becoming a pressing challenge.
“Issues related to heritage and sustainable development cross-cut the aspirations and share the same ground with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,” Deputy Minister Mabudafhasi said.
This is the first regional youth forum on World Heritage in Africa. It is targeted at Anglophone youth. A second forum is planned for 2017 targeting Francophone youth in Africa.