Namibia: Sub-regional Seminar for National Commissions of Southern Africa region
The Sub-regional Seminar for National Commissions for UNESCO of Southern Africa region is taking place from 6 to 8 November 2012 in Windhoek, Namibia. Secretaries-General and staff members of National Commissions from 9 Southern African countries, namely, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe, are attending this seminar. The President and members of the German Commission for UNESCO and representative of Uganda National Commission are also present on this occasion. UNESCO is represented by the Director of Windhoek Cluster Office and the Chief of Section of National Commissions and Related Networks at HQ.
The Namibian Deputy Minister of Information and Communication Technology and Representative on UNESCO’s Executive Board opened the seminar on behalf of the Minister of Education and President of the Namibia National Commission for UNESCO, with the presence of the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Namibia and other officials of the host country as well as of UNESCO.
As part of the Partnership Programme with African National Commissions launched jointly by UNESCO and the Federal Republic of Germany in 2008, this seminar, co-funded by the Namibian and German Governments, aims to share knowledge, experiences and best and practices of the participating Commissions so as to enhance their capacities and cooperation among themselves.
During the seminar, a wide range of topics were addressed and discussed such as mandate, governance, programmes and budget of UNESCO, functions and roles of National Commissions, public private partnerships, preparation and participation of Member States and National Commissions in UNESCO’s Executive Board and General Conference. Taking this opportunity, each of the eleven participating National Commissions presented their respective status, structures, major activities, main achievements as well as constraints and challenges. The Expert of the German Commission introduced a concrete public & private partnership project named “Student Training for Entrepreneurial Promotion (STEP)”, which has been implemented so far in a number of African countries. Uganda National Commission briefed on the East African National Commissions’ capacity building and networking project.
An information session was arranged on the follow-up of the review of UNESCO's cooperation with National Commissions, including the summary of the first meeting of the open-ended tripartite working group set up by the Executive Board, which was held on 19 October in Paris, and the way forward.