Overview of the UNESCO Office in Dakar

©UNESCO/M. Vaccariello

  • The UNESCO Regional Office in Dakar, Senegal, represents UNESCO in seven West African countries (Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, the Gambia, Guinea-Bissau. Mali, Niger and Senegal) in all UNESCO's fields of competence, namely Education, Natural Sciences, Social and Human Sciences, Culture as well as Communication & Information. The official title is UNESCO Dakar, but most people in Dakar know it as BREDA (Bureau régional de l'Education en Afrique – Regional Office for Education in Africa).

The Mission

UNESCO Dakar's mission is to:

  • ensure that education, science, social and human sciences, culture, communication and information are placed on the top Member States’development agenda.
  • develop documents on major trends of the Organization’s fields competence for the countries covered by the Office (Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and the Gambia).
  • ensure that the needs of Member States are taken into account when preparing the UNESCO medium term plans and biennium programmes.
  • ensure that UNESCO Dakar’s activities meet the needs expressed by Member States in the region.
  • promote partnership and ensure that Governments, regional and international IGO’s and NGO’s, other UNESCO’s offices in Africa, national commissions for UNESCO, the United Nations family, the international community and the civil society unite their efforts for the emergence of a peaceful and prosperous Africa.

Some 40 people work in the Dakar Office, which is directed by M. Gwang-Chol Chang.http://www.unesco.org/new/en/dakar/about-this-office/whos-who/the-director/

Historical Background

The Dakar office was created in 1970 initially to deal with educational planning in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Office progressively extended its activities to other sub-sectors of education as well as to UNESCO’s other fields of competence (science, human and social sciences, culture, communication and information).

  • Until 2014, the Office functioned as the Regional Bureau for Education, coordinating UNESCO’s education programme throughout sub-Saharan Africa

Today, UNESCO Dakar is a multi-sectoral Office, although education remains its priority field of intervention.

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