Africa – China Dialogue
On 21 February 2017, a tripartite meeting was held between the Africa Group of UNESCO, China and UNESCO at the Organization’s Headquarters in Paris, under the coordination of the Africa Department.
The meeting, chaired by H.E Ms. Rudo Chitiga, Permanent Delegate of Zimbabwe to UNESCO and Chairperson of the Africa Group, took place in the presence of the Deputy Director-General of UNESCO, Mr Getachew Engida, the Permanent Delegate of the People’s Republic of China to UNESCO, H.E Mr Shen Yang, the Secretary-General of the National Commission of People’s Republic of China for UNESCO, Mr Yue Du and a great number of African Member States.
In his opening speech, Mr Engida recalled China’s substantial support through UNESCO to Africa in the areas of education, oceanographic activities (IOC), World Heritage, cultural diversity, and Science and Technology.
The Secretary-General of the Chinese National Commission mentioned, for his part, that the Africa-China cooperation must now respond to the development agendas 2030 and 2063. He stressed the need to establish this kind of co-operation through UNESCO, which has a major role to play as coordinator and leader in this frame. The Chinese Delegation included several investors from the private sector, who will shortly be visiting three African countries (Djibouti, Ethiopia, Egypt), in cooperation with the Shenzhen Category 2 Center in order to promote literacy in Africa through ICTs Primary education, and TVET.
H.E. Mr Shen Yang mentioned that the cooperation with the People’s Republic of China is not limited to financial issues but also aims at helping the continent to work towards its endogenous and sustainable development.
The debate also focused on the importance of a cooperation to not only enhance the Culture of Peace, but also to reinforce assistance with regard to World Heritage in view of improving and increasing the candidatures of African countries, notably through the African World Heritage Fund. The need to support other important programmes such as the General History of Africa, ICTs in Educati on, Implementation of the SIDS Plan of Action and Global Geoparks was underlined.
Most Ambassadors, Permanent Delegates and other Member states’ Representatives of the Africa group of UNESCO intervened in the discussions and commended the illustration of a concrete and fruitful cooperation proposed by the private companies’ representatives.
Finally, the Assistant Director-General for Africa, Mr Firmin Matoko reminded the African Member States of the existence and the importance of the Special Account for Priority Africa, to which they are greatly invited to contribute in order to assist in the implementation of the Operational Strategy of Priority Africa.
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