Director-General pledges UNESCO’s full support in reconstruction efforts during meeting with Angolan President
On April 5, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova met with the President of the Republic of Angola, H.E. M. José Eduardo Dos Santos. The President acknowledged the long-standing cooperation between UNESCO and Angola since 1977. He referred notably to UNESCO’s involvement in the fight against illiteracy in the period after the independence war and the Organization’s support to Angola’s educational system.
This visit, which was scheduled to coincide with the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the signing of the peace agreement in Angola, underlined Angola’s deep commitment to national reconstruction and showed the country’s achievements in the economy, infrastructure, and social affairs. The Director-General assured the President of UNESCO’s readiness to support Angola’s efforts in all its areas of competence. She mentioned specifically capacity building for quality education, teacher training, technical and vocational education, as well as culture of peace and science and technology. She commended the country’s ambitions in science and technology as reflected by the new Campus University, the TV production Centre and the UNESCO Chair in Chemistry at the Augustino Neto University, which she visited.
President Dos Santos pointed out that progress had be sustained to help the country rebuild after years of war and to ensure this reaches all members of society, including the poor and those living in rural areas. He requested UNESCO’s technical assistance to make the Campus University a Centre of Excellence in the area of science, technology and innovation by mobilizing expert and technical support. UNESCO was invited to lend full support also for building institutional and human capacities, with emphasis on the training of trainers (teachers, university professors, etc.). Recalling the successful cooperation between UNESCO and Angola with respect to the establishment of libraries, the President expressed Angola’s wish to continue benefiting from UNESCO technical assistance in this area, with particular reference to the extension and modernization of Angola’s National Library.
President Dos Santos stated that UNESCO can always count on Angola’s support, especially in current circumstances. He indicated that Angola will join the group of African countries, which pledged to contribute to the Organization’s Emergency Fund.
The Director-General expressed her appreciation to the President for his personal commitment to the mission of the Organization and for Angola’s confidence in UNESCO.