On 17 December, UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, and the Minister of Scientific Research and Technological Innovation of the Republic of Congo, Bruno Jean Richard Itoua, signed a three year agreement within which Congo will provide UNESCO with $400,000 to reinforce Congo’s capacities in scientific and technological innovation.
The objective of the agreement is to help research and innovation become motors of the country’s economic, social, human and cultural development. This will involve updating information about research and innovation in the country, developing appropriate policy instruments and enhancing the standing of the sector.
“The signing of this agreement builds on the longstanding cooperation between UNESCO and Congo,” said the Director-General. “It confirms the desire of both parties to strengthen cooperation. UNESCO is committed to providing assistance and policy advice to the Government of Congo in the reform and implementation of its STI policy”.
"Capacity building in STI is paramount," added Minister Bruno Jean Richard Itoua. "The Republic of Congo has full confidence in UNESCO's expertise in this area."
The agreement is part of a longstanding cooperation between the Republic of Congo and UNESCO in the sciences. In 2004, Congo requested UNESCO’s support in the development of a national science and technology policy. This led to the adoption of an action plan for 2010-2016. The new agreement reinforces existing programmes by focusing on modernization and industrialization.