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UNESCO and Angola are focusing on higher education for peace and development in Africa

Luanda, 18 September 2019 - The Director-General of UNESCO and the Minister of Higher Education of Angola have signed a national doctoral training programme in science, technology and innovation for an unprecedented $50 million, aimed at training 160 researchers.

This launch marked the opening of the Luanda Biennale for a Culture of Peace, which takes place from 18 to 22 September in the Angolan capital, in the presence of João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço, President of Angola, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, President of Mali, Hage Geingob, President of Namibia, Moussa Faki Mahamat, President of the African Union Commission, and Denis Mukwege, Nobel Peace Prize winner.

"Peace is not simply the absence of war. Sustainable peace is based on freedom of the press, the defence of truth and dignity. It is based on the transmission of heritage, which ensures the sovereignty of the imagination and helps to project oneself towards others and the future. It is based on quality education for all, girls and boys, up to the highest level" said the Director-General at the opening of the forum.

The project, implemented by UNESCO, will focus on the 7 priority areas: environment, water, energy, digital technologies, life sciences, natural resources management and marine resources management. It will pay particular attention to the participation of women, bringing 30% of them to the doctoral level.

In concrete terms, it will increase the number of researchers in the country, strengthen the research sector with new equipment, set up multidisciplinary scientific teams and networks and renew university science training programmes. Lifelong training and participation in regional and international exchanges will also be promoted.

"UNESCO is committed to supporting Angola in its peace and development strategy focusing on youth, technology and education" added the Director-General.

After a civil war that lasted almost 27 years (1975-2002), Angola is striving to develop its training and higher education system, which is key to the country's future. The gross university enrolment rate of its population is less than 9.5% (5% for women). In absolute terms, there are currently less than 1,900 researchers across the country.