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Asmara: African Cities Collections in One Hub

Asmara, Eritrea. Photo Credit: Solomon Abraha

Asmara: African Cities Collections in One Hub

By Yosief Abraham Z

This City, which was appreciated for its appreciative traffic lights networks plan by BBC Radio on 19 June of 2005 under its program ‘Reviving Asmara,’ has also critical factors that are important to universal values. Similarly, comparable to the ingredients that supported the Grand-Bassam of Cote d’Ivoire to register its significance to Africa’s heritage in UNESCO, Asmara has also much more contents that need to be compared.

As in the cultural criteria of UNESCO clearly manifested, this Eritrea’s Capital waves the banner of concordant town planning, thus testifies the beauty of lower-palaces and piazzas, wide boulevards, tiled pavements and others. Therefore, as travelling to the historic city of Meknes, Morocco, one of Africa’s additions to UNESCO’s world heritage lists, help visitors to witness the Spanish-Moorish influences in ingredients of the City; the Saint Mary Orthodox Church in Asmara also manifests the acclamation of incorporating local architectural style with other west styles thus excelling appealing results.

The architectural techniques of the Island of Nampula in Mozambique, verandas and open yards of Lamu’s old town from Kenya, Morocco’s Medina of Essaouria which has been in the world heritage list for mingling finely architecting styles from Africa and Western Europe, and yet, Brasilia’s narrations regarding the results of prototypical efforts in its current urban facets, have also been—be it at large or limited frequencies—reflected in Asmara.

As our modern world is lopsided to blobitecture style in the current era, therefore, like Miami, Asmara is continuing narrating the deep notion of a city that blends fascinating architecture, unique cultural blends and mixed legacies of various times span.

“Since Asmara encompasses architectural legacies that matters to chronicles of universally significant planning and construction history, working in collaboration with global stakeholders is also vital,” asserts a professional from Cultural Assets Rehabilitation Project (CARP).

As of 2013 Asmara was in its tentative list of UNESCO, an organization that had then enlisted 981 world heritage specifications. Senafe’s Kidane Mihret Church condition which was also listed among the 100 lists of the New York based World Monuments Watch list of the 2006 most interesting but endangered sites, also armors why Eritrea is looking for UNESCO to list Asmara and consequently others in its world-heritage directory in this year thus to create positive platform for international recognition and engagements.

And accordingly, the factors that have been met by different African countries which have generally enabled for enlisting 91 legacies as world heritage sites manifest that Asmara has also peculiar potency for its architectural legacies. And the city has made this fact on July 8 of 2017. The World Heritage Directory that would include Asmara on its future publications also armors these facts.


Yosief Abraham Z is a freelance journalist and Executive Director of HorMid Media and Art Center. You can contact him at

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Asmara: African Cities Collections in One Hub Reviewed by Admin on 12:01 AM Rating: 5

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