26.12.2017 - UNESCO Office in Harare

What a year it has been! ROSA reflects on 2017

Prof. Gijzen joined by Mrs. Chirapa and some kids to plant trees at the ROSA premises

The UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa held its end of year celebrations on 15th December 2017 with the Director and Representative, Prof. Hubert Gijzen reflecting on the year 2017.

Addressing staff members during the General Staff Meeting that kicked off the celebrations, the Regional Director said 2017 was a massive year in terms of programming, resource mobilisation, strengthening of partnerships as well as improving communication and visibility. He said the development and launch of the ROSA Regional Support Strategy (RSS) was a key achievement that was also acknowledged by the former UNESCO Director General, Ms. Irina Bokova when she launched the strategy on the sidelines of the 39th Session of the UNESCO General Conference in Paris, France.

The Regional Support Strategy is the blueprint for UNESCO ROSA’s operations in Southern Africa from 2017 to 2021 and aims to maximise programme delivery in the region in terms of effectiveness, impact and visibility. It spells out how the UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa will contribute to the building of peace and sustainable development in the region and outlines the priority focus areas of the Office’s five Sectors. The larger part of the document focuses on the Programme Support Strategy which is the backbone of the overall strategy. This is further supported by a Partnerships Strategy, Resource Mobilisation Strategy and Communication and Visibility Strategy. These four Pillars ensure that the UNESCO ROSA Regional Support Strategy is fully integrated and geared towards ensuring effective programme delivery, impact and visibility.

Prof. Gijzen said the Office achieved significant results in all its five Units during 2017. He also said the Office strengthened its partnerships particularly with SADC through the development of a new Framework Agreement for Cooperation and a Joint Programme of Action.

Turning to resource mobilisation, Prof. Gijzen said the Office had done quite well raising more than US$10 million in 2017. He however said the resources raised were not balanced across all units with most of the funds in the Education Unit. He thus called upon all the Units to intensify resource mobilisation efforts going forward.

With regards to communication and visibility, the Regional Director said the Office had also drastically improved in 2017. He said the Office produced several glossy publications and videos; was active on social media platforms; and recorded the highest number of news items posted on the website ever.

As part of the celebrations, ROSA staff took time to plant trees at the premises showing their    commitment to “go green”. The Office is finalizing the development of its strategy on environmental management.

Zimbabwe National Commission for UNESCO Secretary General, Ms. Margaret Chirapa joined the staff and their families in the exercise. Prof. Hubert Gijzen said the planting of trees was important “in saving our environment and contributing to the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals” (SDGs).

Four staff members received long service awards while two staff members who are retiring this year also bade farewell to their colleagues at this celebratory event.

For more information, please contact: c.mapfumo(at)unesco.org or a_makiwa(at)unesco.org

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