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The Africa Department and its missions

© UNESCO/ Valentino Etowar

The Africa Department is in charge of the coordination and the following-up of the action for Africa. During the period covered by UNESCO medium term strategy (2014-2021), this action will be based on UNESCO’s two fields of action in Africa, namely:

  • peace-building by fostering inclusive, peaceful and resilient societies; and
  • capacity-building for sustainable development and poverty eradication.

The Priority Africa is one of the two Global Priorities of UNESCO with Gender Equality. An operational strategy for Priority Africa has been adopted by UNESCO’s 37th General Conference.

In this context, the Africa Department is in charge of:

  • Ensuring the institutional and intersectoral coordination of Global Priority Africa and of the reports and core initiatives within its mandate, in close cooperation with the Sectors and Office concerned, implementing Priority Africa and monitoring it;
  • Being a focal point for UNESCO relationships with Member States of Africa, African Union, Regional Economic Communities and other regional integration organisations ;
  • Supporting the five multisectoral Regional Offices and the category 1 institutes active in the region, backed by a mechanism of regular consultation between the Offices and the Headquarters, in the context of the reform of UNESCO’s field presence;
  • Coordinating forward-looking reflection on Africa and contextual analysis of African realities and challenges and generating forward-looking research and studies to ensure coherence and efficiency in implementing Priority Africa. This will involve experts from Africa and outside Africa;
  • Promoting monitoring and future-oriented reflection activities to a greater extent in respect of Africa’s development challenges, opportunities and issues;
  • Strengthening further the strategic partnership with African Member States, the African Union Commission, subregional economic communities, civil society, the private sector and the specialized agencies so that they may participate in the Organization’s action to a greater extent by making substantive, technical and financial contributions thereto;
  • Broadening and bolstering, on the basis of comparative advantages, the complementarity of action with other United Nations system agencies, funds and programmes active in Africa;
  • Mobilizing extrabudgetary contributions to Priority Africa flagship programmes;
  • Raising the profile of the actions and activities undertaken in the context of Global Priority Africa.
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