Introduction to the Africa Department

In 1996 the Africa Department (AFR) was given the mandate to “coordinate the full range

of UNESCO’s cooperation with African Member States, African IGOs and NGOs, and

with the bilateral partners and multilateral bodies that implement similar programmes for

Africa which are related or complementary to UNESCO’s”. It is “responsible for the

liaison, coordination and mobilization needed within the Secretariat to ensure that the

priority assigned to the African region is reflected in all programmes”. This mandate was

confirmed and reinforced in

The Africa Department ensures that the major programmes use the updated forwardlooking

analyses and studies, enabling them to attain results and have an impact in the

field. AFR also ensures contributions from Africa to global reports prepared by the

Organization. Similarly, the Africa Department and the field offices work with partners in

the field, UNESCO Chairs and category 2 centres to further mobilize human and

institutional resources.

As regards coordination and strengthening of cooperation with Member States, African

IGOs and NGOs and bilateral and multilateral partners, the Africa Department ensures

that all the permanent delegations, particularly those representing African States, are

also regularly consulted and informed of changes and developments in Africa through

forward-looking analyses and studies, including the new challenges to be faced. It works

closely with field offices, in particular for the collection and analysis of data on Africa, the

identification of new needs and rapprochement with specialized institutions, governments

and their partners, the private sector and civil society.

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