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African world heritage: a remarkable diversity / Patrimoine mondial africain : une diversité remarquable
The 1972 World Heritage Convention is an international instrument that addresses the conservation of cultural and natural heritage across the world, and recognizes the responsibility of national governments in this respect. The World Heritage List thus presents examples of natural and cultural properties around the world that have received international recognition for their outstanding universal value.
The first inscriptions on the World Heritage List were made in 1978, with three African sites inscribed that year out of a total of twelve. There are presently forty-seven cultural, thirty-five natural and four mixed properties in the region, representing 9 per cent of the 962 World Heritage properties in the world. Although the region remains underrepresented on the List, forty-five of the forty-six States Parties in the region have ratified the 1972 Convention and there are various levels of implementation in the different countries. Thirty-two of these States Parties have presented successful nominations to inscribe sites within their national boundaries on the World Heritage List.