President of the foundation for the Safeguarding of Cultural Heritage of Rabat

Le 14 février 2020, le Conseil d’Administration de la Fondation pour la Sauvegarde du Patrimoine Culturel de Rabat, présidé par Son Altesse Royale la Princesse Lalla Hasnaa, arrêtait un plan d’action très riche offrant aux acteurs du patrimoine culturel – institutionnels, société civile et experts – de multiples opportunités d’échanger les visions et de partager les savoirs. La volonté première de la Fondation étant de conjuguer la préservation du patrimoine culturel non au passé, mais au futur et toujours au pluriel.

African Urban Heritage: Challenges of Preservation and Issues of Development


African Urban Heritage: Challenges of Preservation and Issues of Development

African Urban Heritage: Challenges of Preservation and Issues of Development

The Foundation for the Safeguarding of Cultural Heritage of Rabat held a conference on “African Urban Heritage: Challenges of Preservation and Issues of Development”, on Wednesday, May 25, 2022, in partnership with the Ministry of National Land Management, Urban Planning, Housing and Urban Policy, the Ministry of Youth, Culture and Communication and UNESCO. The meeting was as part of the triple commemorations of “Rabat, African Capital of Culture”, “10 years of Rabat on the World Heritage List” and “50 years of the 1972 Convention”.

The meeting was officially opened by the Ministers of National Territorial Planning, Urbanism, Housing and Urban Policy, an of Youth, Culture and Communication as well as UNESCO World Heritage Center Director, Mr. Lazare Eloundou Assomo.

People attended to this conference, urban planners, architects, academics, researchers, institutions and stakeholder representatives. The conference was also broadcast live by videoconference; confirming broad interest in a topic essential to the sound preservation of heritage in all its forms.

Nine experts from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines, conducted the event with a view to presenting notions of safeguarding urban heritage through recognizing it in the first place, and subsequently adjusting protection measures to specific contexts and problems. Contributors presented case studies on rich heritage sites in Africa (including Senegal, Tunisia, Ivory Coast, Eritrea, Benin, Mauritania, Morocco, etc.), illustrating how architecture is the result of a broader urban approach. Protecting architectural heritage consequently needs to be part of a comprehensive urban approach and Rabat is a success story in this regard. The event consisted of two panels, the first dealing with historical urban centers and the second addressing modern heritage. The second panel featured presentations on the role of the 1972 Convention in safeguarding modern and historic heritage in terms of architecture and urban expression, as well as an approach focused on Historic Urban Landscape and reconciling the historical strata within a city.

The challenge is to preserve the identity of African cities, as physical testimony of the multiple historic facets and cultural values they embody, while preserving universal accessibilitý, for future generations. Culturally sensitive urban strategies are essential to creating resilient and inclusive modern cities.

The meeting offered valuable insights into successful experiences and best practices in safeguarding urban heritage, inspiring inclusive and comprehensive approaches to developing African historic cities, and setting a basis for sustainable and responsible planning and management tools.

The conference is part of the Foundation’s “Workshop” program, designed to bring together heritage stakeholders through national and international exchange platforms for practitioners, researchers, institutions and civil society.

The program offers a variety of formats (workshops, meetings, conferences and round tables) to promote the sharing of expertise, information and best practices, while consolidating networks and encouraging collaborative efforts and partnerships.

All platforms stem from the Foundation’s determination to provide optimal conditions for genuine dialogue and attentive listening, thereby fostering convergence of views among stakeholders and building collective intelligence.

About the Foundation

The drive of his Majesty King Mohammed VI, may God assist him, for preserving and enhancing the cultural heritage of Morocco is ongoing, strong and sustained.

The Foundation for the Safeguarding of Cultural Heritage of Rabat, chaired by Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Hasnaa, in part materializes this process.

The Foundation for the Safeguarding of Cultural Heritage of Rabat was created pursuant to the inclusion of “Rabat, modern capital and historic city” on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The world heritage of the city of Rabat, listed in 2012, covers an area of 348 ha attesting to the city’s universal and exceptional significance. Rabat’s current character is the outcome of unique, fertile exchanges between a few of humanity’s greatest cultures: Ancient, Islamic, Hispano-Maghrebian and European.

The Foundation seeks to educate and raise awareness on the importance of safeguarding Rabat’s cultural heritage, enabling populations to enjoy it today and pass it on to future generations.

The Foundation federates stakeholders and coordinates collective efforts to safeguard and enhance Rabat’s cultural heritage, in a participatory approach that encompasses institutions, civil society, international organizations, experts and all stakeholders with an interest in the preservation and enhancement of Rabat’s cultural heritage.

The Foundation strives to preserve and pass on the historical, architectural, artistic, landscape, material and immaterial values of Rabat’s cultural heritage.

See the Foundation’s website: