Africa as a developing continent is faced with challenges in achieving sustaina- ble development whilst sustaining its social and cultural fabric as well as ensur- ing that heritage places such as World Heritage sites are preserved. At times the issues of conservation of heritage and improvement of livelihoods are perceived as opposite sides of a coin. Issues relating to the incompatibility of resource utili- zation and conservation have dominated the conservation debates on the conti- nent. Recently the African Union Agenda 2063 'the Africa we want' has called upon heritage to contribute to a better and prosperous Africa. The presentation will explore whether this is possible. This presentation draws from the case studies in Southern Africa to examine the contributions of heritage conservation efforts as a viable enterprise in providing livelihood strategies for local communities. Issues of infrastructural development at these places and the resultant job crea- tion are discussed. The presentation discusses current practice and argues that in most countries in Africa despite the rapid growth in global tourism the local communities seem not to benefit from this phenomenon.