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The UNESCO Office in Harare was initially established in 1986 as a sub-regional office for education in Southern Africa, with a special emphasis on higher education. Since then, it has also played the role of cluster office, covering four countries (Botswana, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe) and since 2014 as UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa, covering all of UNESCO’s programme sectors: Education, Sciences, Culture, and, Communication and Information, in nine countries, namely Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe, with national offices in Mozambique and Namibia.
The office serves as UNESCO’s focal point for cooperation with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) as well as for the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).