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The Director General of UNESCO signs agreement with Minister of Education of Botswana on the management of HIV/AIDS in secondary schools in Botswana

18-04-2005 - On 14 April, the Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, and Mr Jacob D. Nkate, Minister of Education of Botswana, signed at UNESCO Headquarters a project plan of operation on enhancing the development of leadership skills in the management of HIV/AIDS in secondary schools in Botswana.

Funded by UNESCO/Japanese Funds-in Trust, the project aims to develop in Botswana’s Secondary Schools the management and leadership skills in the field of HIV/AIDS and will strengthen the existing programmes that are part of the overall strategic national response to the pandemic.

Welcoming the agreement, the Minister stressed his country’s commitment to the fight against HIV/AIDS and praised UNESCO for providing technical expertise and guidance in formulating the project. He also acknowledged the financial contribution made by the Japanese Government. He went on to praise progress made in the implementation of a number of flagship programmes such as the Sustainable Integrated Management and Development of Arid and Semi-arid Regions of Southern Africa (SIMDAS) and the establishment (in partnership with the Commonwealth of Learning) of a SADC Regional Centre of Excellence on Open and Distance Education in Botswana.

The Director-General expressed his satisfaction on bilateral cooperation between Botswana and UNESCO, which has been considerably strengthened over the past years, following the adoption of the new decentralization strategy. He underscored the importance of HIV/AIDS preventive education and the need to ensure UNESCO’s country-level presence in sub-Saharan Africa.

Turning to the outcomes of the Second meeting of the Conference of Ministers of Education of the African Union (Algiers, 8-11 April), Mr Nkate stressed the importance of UNESCO’s mandate as the lead coordinator of the EFA movement. The Director-General welcomed the renewed political commitment of African Ministers of Education to the challenge to achieve Education for All (EFA) goals. He also expressed his hope that many African Ministers of Education would participate in the October session of the General Conference where EFA will be the central theme and where a Ministerial Round Table will be devoted to EFA.

The ceremony was also attended by Ms Kgomotso Motlotle, Secretary-General of the Botswana National Commission for UNESCO, Ms Barulaganye Modongo, Executive Manager of the Botswana National Commission, Mr Zenene Sinombe, First Secretary in the Embassy of Botswana to the European Union and Mr Juma Shabani, Director of the UNESCO Harare Cluster Office, which is responsible for Botswana.

Source Flash Info n°064-2005





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