18.06.2010 - ODG

Irina Bokova on her first official visit to the Republic of Uganda

© UNESCO/Tosin Animashawun - Irina Bokova visiting the site of Buganda Royal Tombs at Kasubi with Ms Geraldine Namirembe Bitamawire, Ugandan Minister of Education and Sports and Chairperson of the Ugandan National Commission for UNESCO, and Ms Elizabeth Paula Napeyok, Permanent Delegate of Uganda to UNESCO

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova arrived in Uganda on Friday, 18 June 2010 for her first official visit to the country since taking office in November last year.

The Director-General was received by Mr Yoweri Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda, with whom she discussed at length the cooperation between Uganda and UNESCO, especially in the field of culture. They spoke about the importance of preserving pre-historic cultural sites in the country as well as African languages, especially those in danger. The Director-General assured President Museveni that UNESCO will continue working to ensure the restoration of the Buganda Royal Tombs at Kasubi, and informed him of the recent decision of the African World Heritage Fund to allocate USD 50,000 for this purpose.

Irina Bokova thanked President Museveni for his country’s generosity in hosting the 12th Regional Conference and Regional Consultation on the preparation of the Draft Programme and Budget for 2012 – 2013, informing him of their importance given the priority UNESCO and she personally accord to the African continent.

Director-General Irina Bokova also met with Ms Geraldine Namirembe Bitamawire, Minister of Education and Sports and Chairperson of the Ugandan National Commission for UNESCO.

Discussions covered the cooperation between UNESCO and Uganda with the Minister highlighting those areas where her country wished cooperation to be enhanced, namely for quality education, teacher training, the creation of UNESCO Chairs in different areas, youth and community media centres. Ms Namirembe Bitamawire also stated her country’s intention to make a proposal for the creation of a centre on water management for sub-Saharan Africa under the auspices of UNESCO.

Irina Bokova assured the Minister of UNESCO’s willingness to work with Uganda and help ensure the successful implementation of all the projects discussed, especially through its Regional Bureau in Nairobi. The Director-General also informed Minister Namirembe Bitamawire about some of the projects that she wished to launch for Africa, including one on technical and vocational education and training.

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