AFCP Program

The State Department’s Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) supports country-specific projects that preserve cultural sites, cultural objects and collections, and forms of traditional expression.

Through the AFCP Program, the Department of State supports projects to preserve cultural heritage in the following three areas:

  1. Cultural Sites—such as, but not limited to, historic buildings and archaeological sites;
  2. Cultural Objects and Collections from a museum, site, or similar institution—that include, but are not limited to, archaeological and ethnographic objects, paintings, sculpture, manuscripts, and general museum conservation needs; and,
  3. Forms of Traditional Cultural Expression—such as traditional music, indigenous languages, and crafts.

AFCP recommends funding for those proposals that include project activities in adherence to the following guidelines and to international standards for the preservation of cultural heritage. These activities may include:

  1. Cultural Sites: conservation of an ancient or historic building, preservation of an archaeological site, or documentation of cultural sites in a region for preservation purposes.
  2. Cultural Objects and Collections: conservation treatment for an object or collection of objects; needs assessment of a collection with respect to its condition and strategies for improving its state of conservation; inventory of a collection for conservation and protection purposes; the creation of safe environments for storage or display of collections; or specialized training in the care and preservation of collections.
  3. Forms of Traditional Cultural Expression: documentation and audiovisual recording of traditional music and dance forms for broad dissemination as the means of teaching and further preserving them, or support for training in the preservation of traditional applied arts or crafts in danger of extinction.

The program defines eligible project applicants as reputable and accountable non-commercial entities, such as non-governmental organizations, museums, ministries of culture, or similar institutions and organizations that are able to demonstrate that they have the requisite experience and capacity to manage projects to preserve cultural heritage.

For information on the annual AFCP competition, please email

2013: USD 78,370 AFCP funds were awarded for the preservation of Mid- 19th-century Zanzibar Anglican Cathedral which is situated on the site of Zanzibar’s former slave market. The site highlights Zanzibar’s unique history and abolition of slavery in the 19th century, as well as its tradition of religious tolerance. This was a joint project with the Government of Tanzania and the EU which provided an additional Euro 743,000.  For more information about this project please visit .

2012: Local NGO “UZIKWASA” (Uzima kwa Sanaa, or Alive through Art) received a USD $106,249 AFCP grant to preserve the Bwanga House on “Old India Street” in historic Pangani.  Abandoned for over 30 years, Bwanga House not only retain many of its original features unique to Pangani architecture and sounds structural integrity, but also is used as a center for Capacity Building and Training; Installation of a Heritage and Handicrafts Centre; and Local Community Outreach and Visitor Infrastructure.  For more information about this project please visit .

2011: Kilwa Kisiwani received an AFCP large grant of $700,000 awarded to the WMF in support a project to conserve the ruins of the ancient city which had thrived there for more than seven centuries. The restoration of the ruins in two Kilwa islands, include a fortress as well as several ruins of ancient mosques and palaces. .  For more information about this project please visit .

2010: Kizimkazi mosque, a cultural heritage site dating back to the 11th century was renovated through a $21,500 AFCP grant.

2010: AFCP granted USD $54,000 to the Trust for African Rock Art (TARA) and the Tanzania Division of Antiquities in support of their Conservation of Prehistoric Rock Art project in Kondoa.

2006: Shuma and Micheweni mosques and Old Fort in Chake Chake, Pemba, all restored through a $25,589 AFCP grant. The mosques were originally built in the early 18th century and continue to serve more than 10,000 local residents. The funds granted by AFCP were used to preserve Pemba’s history through the fort’s restoration and public exhibits within it which are frequently visited by tourists and local residents.