The first Forum of Ministers of Social Development for Eastern African countries will be hosted by the Government of Kenya in Nairobi from 24 to 26 February 2015, and co-organized with UNESCO’s Management of Social Transformations (MOST) Programme. The overarching theme will be “Global Justice”, with a focus on sharing national experiences and policies contributing to this (e.g. through policies for the reduction of poverty and inequality).
The Forum will focus on 15 countries from the region : Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda and United Republic of Tanzania.
Ministers in charge of Social Development from a majority of these countries are expected to attend alongside the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA), the Human Sciences Research Council (South Africa), the African Union, the Secretariat of the East African Community, the International Social Science Council (ISSC), numerous researchers, and representatives of the UN system.
The Forum for Eastern African countries seeks to provide:
- A space for regional dialogue at ministerial level, with the participation of social scientists, on regional social policy strategies.
- Opportunities to work on harmonization of initiatives.
- A platform for exchange on succesful practices related to national policies.
- Opportunities for key stakeholders to co-produce knowledge.
- Opportunities to influence the international debate and policy formulation.
The following panels will be organized:
- Poverty, inequalities and justice in the post-2015 agenda;
- Presentation of the World Social Science Forum 2015 which will focus on “Transforming Global Relations for a Just World” (Durban, South Africa, 13-16 September 2015);
- Sharing of national experiences contributing to justice;
- Implications of population, reproductive health and family planning for health and economic well-being of women and children in the East African Community contributing to equality and sustainable development, and
- Youth employment, unemployment, entrepreneurship and skills development.
Getachew Engida, Deputy Director-General of UNESCO will attend the opening ceremony of the Forum.
The keynote speech will be delivered by Pierre Sané, President/CEO of the Imagine Africa Institute, and former Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences of UNESCO. Imagine Africa is a think-tank dedicated to the strengthening of research policy linkages in Africa and on Africa in order to improve the quality of public policies.
The discussions and presentations will lead to key policy recommendations and the adoption of a Ministerial Declaration.
This Forum is part of a series of Fora of Ministers of Social Development, organized in various regions and sub-regions under the auspices of UNESCO’s MOST Programme.