UNESCO’s Culture Programme is firmly anchored in the cultural conventions which provide the principles for cultural policy development and serve as a platform for international cooperation in protecting heritage and fostering creativity for sustainable development. Altogether, they establish a holistic cultural governance system based on human rights and shared values. UNESCO Cairo Office, through its Culture Unit, assists Egypt and Sudan with the promotion and implementation of the UNESCO culture conventions through policy support, capacity building, and partnership development.

Intangible Cultural Heritage in Egypt

Egypt ratified the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) in 2005. Since then, Egypt has actively engaged in the implementation of the ICH Convention at the national level. The Egyptian constitution adopted on 15 January 2014 marked a significant step forward with Article 50 stating the importance of safeguarding ICH in Egypt. The needs assessment conducted in 2015 thanks to the financial contribution of the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Cultural Authorities (ADTCA) led to the preparation and approval of the project “Strengthening National Capacities for Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage in Egypt for Sustainable Development” 

The UNESCO Regional Bureau for Sciences in the Arab States, with the full support and cooperation of its national partner the Ministry of Culture (MoC), implemented this project since June 2018. Under the supervision of the project's consultative platform chaired by the Ministry of Culture, a series of capacity-building workshops were organized. In 2019-2020, some 2,000 pictures and 200 videos on the ICH elements across the five domains defined in the ICH Convention were collected with the participation of knowledge holders, practitioners, and the community. 


Tangible Cultural Heritage

The Culture Programme of the UNESCO Cairo Office supports the capacity building of site managers, government officials, CSOs, and the community for the conservation and management of heritage sites for sustainable development. Capacity building workshops on key topics addressing needs and priorities identified in the periodic reporting of the World Heritage Convention in the Arab States are supported. Strategic assistance and guidance are provided in particular for the World Heritage in Danger sites. Training for the management of underwater cultural heritage is supported to develop a regional capacity building programme in this area.


In the area of museum development, UNESCO Cairo Office manages the two major projects. The first project is the International Campaign for the Nubian Museum in Aswan and the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC) in Cairo which has its origin in the International Campaign for Save the Monuments of Nubia coordinated by UNESCO from 1960 to 1980. The 2nd project is for the Museum of the Islamic Arts in Cairo to support its development as a Centre for Excellence in the conservation of the Islamic Arts in the region.

Ms. Akatsuki Takahashi
Programme Specialist
Mr. Ayman Abdel-Mohsen
Project Officer
Ms. Amal Gad
Senior Programme Assistant

Mr. Ahmed Bayoumi