Director-General participates in the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development
On 27 August, UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, participated in the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) held in Nairobi, Kenya. The Conference brought together about 10,000 participants, including 23 Presidents, 9 Prime Ministers and 5 Vice-Presidents as well as representatives from governments, UN and other agencies, the private sector and civil society.
The co-organizers of TICAD VI were also represented at their highest level, namely H.E. Mr Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, Ms Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the African Union Commission Chairperson, Dr Jim Yong Kim, the President of the World Bank, as well as Ms Helen Clark, the Administrator of the UNDP.
Opening the Conference, the President of the Republic of Kenya, H.E. Mr Kenyatta, underscored the significance of holding this conference for the first time in Africa and the importance of the TICAD platform for improved partnership for Africa’s development.
The Director-General spoke at the afternoon plenary session devoted to “Promoting social stability for shared prosperity”, co-chaired by United Nations Under-Secretary-General, Maged Abdelaziz, and the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Ms Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
In her intervention, the Director-General stated that young people must be empowered to make the most of the incredible wealth of the continent.
This was echoed by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, highlighting that Africa’s most precious resource is its people and that it needs to turn that into wealth and prosperity.
The Director-General also urged for greater cooperation for the implementation of the African Union Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as a starting point for promoting human rights and dignity for every African woman and man.
She underlined that education is not only about teaching skills for jobs but also about learning values for citizenship, stability and security.
During this panel session, high-level speakers, including the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan, senior officials from the Government of Kenya and Mali and other representatives from government, UN agencies, private companies and civil society organizations discussed concrete ways to utilize the TICAD platform to promote and support social stability in Africa, including through creating inclusive and sustainable livelihoods, focusing on education and women, addressing climate change for shared prosperity and sustaining peace through reinforcing good governance.
On the sidelines of the Conference, Ms Bokova met with the President of Djibouti, H.E. Ismail Omar Guelleh. They discussed the important role of education to prevent violent extremism. The Director-General also underlined the vital role of tolerance and learning to live together in transforming societies. The Director-General warmly thanked the Government of Djibouti for its generous contribution to the translation into French of the UNESCO Science report, whose French launch is scheduled to take place in Djibouti next November.
The Director-General also met with the Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Kenya, Ambassador (Dr) Amina Mohammed, in the presence of Ambassador Godia to UNESCO. The Director-General congratulated the Minister for Foreign Affairs for a very successful and well-organized Conference. She also thanked the Minister for the support provided to the Multisectoral regional office for Eastern Africa, highlighting UNESCO’s strengthened presence in the field.
The Minister warmly thanked UNESCO for the excellent cooperation with the Nairobi Office and the projects being implemented under the various programme sectors, underlining the need for further capacity-building in policy development in some specific areas.
She also expressed her satisfaction with the Memorandum of Understanding in the area of ICT signed in Paris last April during President Uhuru Kenyatta’s visit to UNESCO Headquarters.
She reiterated the President’s commitment to provide one laptop per child in at least 50% of schools across the country, starting in September 2016, with the aim to reach all schools by March 2017.
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