About UNESCO Office in Dakar

About UNESCO Multisectoral Regional Office in Dakar

UNESCO's Multisectoral Regional Office for West Africa (Sahel) in Dakar (also known as the UNESCO Regional Office in Dakar or UNESCO Dakar) represents UNESCO in seven West African countries (Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger and Senegal) covering all of UNESCO's fields of competence, namely Education, Natural Sciences, Social and Human Sciences, Culture as well as Communication and Information.


The Dakar Office was originally created in 1970 to address educational planning in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Office has gradually extended its activities to other areas of educational development, eventually covering the whole of the education system as well as other areas of UNESCO's competencies (Natural Sciences, Social and Human Sciences, Culture, Communication and Information).

Until 2014, the office functioned as the Regional Office for Education, coordinating UNESCO's education program throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, today it is a regional office covering seven West African countries.

UNESCO's mission in Dakar is to:

  • Document and analyze the situation and the main developmental trends in the organization's areas of competencies in Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger and Senegal;
  • Ensure that Education, Science, Culture, Communication and Information are an integral part of the priorities of Member States' development agenda;
  • Assist Member States in achieving Sustainable Development Goals in UNESCO's fields of competencies through strategic advice, capacity building, technical assistance and knowledge sharing;
  • Promote partnerships and networks with governments, multilateral agencies, civil society organizations, academia and other relevant institutions, in collaboration with National Commissions for UNESCO, UNESCO Chairs, clubs and associated schools.


Appointed as Director of UNESCO’s Multisectoral Regional Office for West Africa (Sahel) in Dakar (Senegal) in September 2018, Mr. Dimitri Sanga holds a PhD and a Master's degree

in Economics with a specialization in econometrics from Laval University (Canada), as well as a Bachelor's degree in Wood Science and Engineering, from the same institution.

Mr. Sanga began his professional career in 1999, teaching of micro and macroeconomic sciences at the University of Ottawa (Canada), in parallel with a career as a statistician economist (1999-2004) with the Canadian Government.

In 2005, he joined the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa - UNECA (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia), where he held several positions until 2013, including Director of the Statistics Division, where he formulated and oversaw the programs of the African Statistics Center.

Before joining Dakar, he had been, since September 2013, the Director and Representative of the Sub-regional Office for West Africa of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa based in Niamey (Niger). In this capacity, Mr. Sanga provided intellectual and political support to the fifteen member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in their efforts for economic and social development, regional integration and strengthening cooperation in West Africa.

The Assistant to the Director is Mrs. Ramatoulaye Diop Diagne (rdiagne@unesco.org)


M. Dimitri Sanga
Regional Director and Representative