Africa has become an increasingly important part of the global culture and development. UNESCO, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation, has been at the forefront of promoting understanding and cooperation through multilateral initiatives and programmes in the African continent.
Unesco recently convened the African Union Heads of State and Government Summit on Sustainable Development in Arusha, Tanzania. At this summit, UNESCO shared its vision for inclusive, equitable, and sustainable development in Africa through the mission of ‘Building Peace in the Minds of Men’. Its objective was to secure the support of African leaders in tackling some of the continent’s most pressing challenges: violence, poverty, extreme social disparities, and lack of access to basic services such as education, health care, and sanitation.
Unesco also established two specialised institutes focused solely on Africa-related themes. The first one is UNESCO’s Regional Science Centre for Eastern Africa (RESC) whose headquarters are located in Mbeya, Tanzania. It works to empower local communities and is a major player in the implementation of UNESCO’s innovative policy frameworks with its key goal being to develop regional solutions to regional problems concerning sustainable development. The second institute under UNESCO’s mandate is the Regional Culture Centre for East Africa (RCREA) based in Dar es Salaam. The RCREA works towards building peace through intercultural dialogue by supporting peacebuilding activities across East Africa’s borders as well as cultural preservation initiatives through research and documentation.
In addition to these two dedicated African branches under its wings, UNESCO is also a key partner in many other projects across the continent such as supporting digitisation of cultural heritage items; developing cultural policy; promoting science, technology and innovation; and helping to build capacity in higher education institutions. Indeed, thanks to its long-term efforts in Africa, UNESCO has been instrumental in empowering Africans towards achieving their goals while preserving their cultural identity.
Africa is a continent filled with rich culture, priceless natural resources, and immense potential for development. One of the key players in helping African nations reach their potential is UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.
Having been active on the African continent for decades, UNESCO applies a variety of programs to support various aspects of Africa’s growth. Over its history, UNESCO has supported education, science, and engineering; pushed for sustainable economic development and gender equality; reinforced international legal frameworks; advocated peace-building efforts; and even acted as a platform to affirm African identity and heritage.
For example, UNESCO has launched several initiatives to advance quality education throughout the continent. These initiatives focus on providing students with access to modern educational technologies like tablets, digital libraries, interactive whiteboards, and knowledge-building apps. UNESCO also facilitates teacher training programs to equip educators with the skills needed for delivering high quality instruction in dynamic classrooms.
UNESCO is also working hard to make sure African countries develop resilient economies by providing them with access to knowledge that drives technological progression. This includes training aspects in science and technology such as 3D printing and robotics. UNESCO has made it its mission to provide expertise from other countries in order to further develop human capacity and skills in Africa.
Moreover, UNESCO is making sure that African art forms are appreciated and celebrated on an international level by promoting its Intangible Heritage Lists which seek to recognize various forms of cultural expression that are conveyed old stories or customs passed down through generations. Through this initiative, UNESCO hopes to contribute to cultural conservation while preserving the identity of local communities.
UNESCO remains committed to promoting sustainable development within Africa through balanced partnerships between governments and local communities. As the population of the continent continues to grow into the future, it looks like UNESCO will continue create a positive impact within Africa for years to come.