UNESCO multi-sectoral regional Office in Dakar met key Burkina Faso partners in Ouagadougou
The Social and Human Sciences (SHS) section of the UNESCO multi-sectoral regional office for the Sahel Region, based in Dakar, traveled to Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, from 26 February to 5 March 2017. The objective of the mission was to meet with the Watch Committee to prepare a Grand Advocacy session for the social inclusion of women victims of witchcraft accusations, to be held in May 2017, to participate in SHS events and contribute to the meeting of UNCT in preparation of the UNDAF.
Initially organized to set up an advocacy session, the mission was reoriented, at the request of the Minister of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Innovation (outgoing), to help find solutions to the ongoing crisis at the Sakoula site. Receiving the mission, the new Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, Pr. Maiga, renewed his personal commitment and the one of his government for the project. He noted the postponement of the session of Grand Advocacy in May.
An important meeting was held with the Watch Committee, chaired by the Naba, and in the presence of the deputy prosecutor of Burkina Faso, to decide how to deal with this crisis. To this end, working meetings were held with ATD Fourth World, the Community of Saint Egidio and Maitre Pacere, mentor of the women victims of accusations of sorcery, in order to harmonize the proceedings.
On a mission to Ouagadougou in the framework of FESPACO, the Assistant Director-General of UNESCO for Africa, Mr. Matoko, accompanied by Mr. Yao, UNESCO representative in Côte d'Ivoire? Ms. Marèma Touré Thiam and the project team (SG-Natcom and the consultant) generously agreed to go to the Sakoula site to meet the women concerned. The visit of the UNESCO delegation provided a great comfort to the victims and allowed to see the activities there and the achievements of the project.
The UNDAF meeting was marked by a strong presence of UNESCO with the Assistant Director-General Africa, the Director of the Yaoundé Office and UNESCO Representative in Côte d'Ivoire. The Assistant Director-General for Africa mentioned, in his speech, the importance of changing attitudes to reform the structure of the economy.
The opening ceremony of the "Symposium on Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue" was also a great time for exchanges under the presidency of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Burkina Faso and the Secretary General of the Francophonie. Within the framework of FESPACO, the SHS sector of the UNESCO office in Dakar also participated in the presentation ceremony of the UNESCO-FEPACI-FILM Foundation project for the restoration of 50 African films and contributed to the CODESRIA symposium on "emergence through the image".
Lastly, exchanges were held with the Director of the Institute of Social Sciences (INSS) and the Institute of Research in Health Sciences (IRSS), as part of the follow-up of activities related to Bioethics.
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