Irina Bokova meets Kenyan President and Government Officials
During her visit to Nairobi on 3 April, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova held a bilateral meeting with the President of Kenya, Mwai Kibaki. The President commended UNESCO’s joint effort to organize the First Africa Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) for Youth Employment, Human Capital Development and Inclusive Growth in Nairobi. The President said that this exemplary collaboration was underpinned by a shared vision of STI at the core of efforts to eradicate poverty and to foster social inclusion and sustainable development.
President Kibaki assured the Director-General of his commitment to supporting UNESCO in these difficult times. The Director-General thanked him and commended the President’s decision to suppress all direct fees in primary and secondary schools, thus ensuring a wider access at all levels of education.
In a meeting with Prime Minister Raila Odinga, the Director-General reviewed critical decisions taken by the Kenyan Government in the area of education, as well as on-going initiatives, including the promotion of girls’ education, UNESCO’s initiative on ground water exploration for emergency response to the Horn of Africa drought crisis, and the establishment of the new IOC Sub-Commission for Africa and the Adjacent Island States.
On the same day, the Director-General met with the Minister of Education and Chairperson of the Kenyan National Commission to UNESCO and the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology. They discussed potential areas of cooperation, including rainwater harvesting, the establishment of science and engineering chairs, and mathematics education.