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The Delegation of the EU to Eritrea celebrates the inscription of Asmara in the UNESCO World Heritage List

Beautiful Asmara was recently inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Delegation of the European Union to the State of Eritrea celebrates the inscription of Asmara in the UNESCO World Heritage List

The EU, in the framework of its programme for Local Authorities, is supporting the city of Asmara in the preservation of its unique architectural and historical sites.


The Delegation of the European Union to the State of Eritrea congratulates the State of Eritrea, the Zoba Maekel and the Municipality of Asmara for the inscription of Asmara in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The EU is pleased to cooperate with the Asmara Heritage Project (AHP) for the conservation of the city's architectural heritage.

Through the EU's programme for Local Authorities the EU is supporting the Asmara Heritage Project, part of the Department of Public Works Development of the Central Region Administration (Zoba Maekel), in the implementation of the project: "Capacity building for safeguarding Asmara's historic urban environment".

"Cultural heritage is an essential part of our European identity - the declaration adopted by the World Heritage Committee in Poland on 08 July recognises and celebrates its importance. Cultural heritage is not only a means to understand the past, but also an initiative to ensure that Asmara's heritage is treasured and protected for future generations, while also benefitting local communities through increased visits and tourism. I would like to thank the Asmara Heritage Project office in Asmara for their invaluable work on this initiative and I am pleased the EU is partnering with them in this project. I count on the continued commitment and enthusiasm of the cultural heritage stakeholders to make this Year a success and to guarantee its long-term impact." said Ambassador Christian Manahl, Head of the EU Delegation in Eritrea.

The EU co-funded project provides a unique opportunity to support a wide range of activities associated with the protection and management of the city of Asmara, now part of the World Heritage List. The project also aims at improving the social and economic wellbeing of the residents of Asmara with opportunities for public participation, capacity building, economic development and touristic activities. The EU co-funded programme includes training, capacity building and awareness raising components and is also supporting the finalisation of the Urban Conservation Master Plan, which is among the key recommendations and requirements of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee and is crucial for the inscription in the UNESCO World Heritage list.

AHP is implementing the project in cooperation with the University Politecnico di Milano, Department of Architecture and Urban studies. The project, in particular, aims at valorising Asmara's heritage, which is unique in the world, with its historic perimeter of around 4,300 surveyed historical buildings within an area of 480 hectares. The following clusters of intervention are supported: Completion of the Conservation Master Plan; Planning Norms and Regulations; Professional Advanced Training Course for conservation, protection and enhancement of built heritage; Training for artisans and skilled workers for the maintenance, safeguarding and management of Asmara's modernist architecture; Public engagement and awareness raising activities and; Creation of professional networks with local and international experts and organisations. AHP has been working for several years to preserve Asmara's cultural heritage and modernist architecture. The European Union’s contribution to the project is approximately EUR 300,000.00.

For more information please contact:

Iride Boffardi
Delegation of the European Union in Eritrea
Phone: +291-1-127957
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