About UNESCO Office in Nairobi

The UNESCO Office in Nairobi was created in 1965 for the purpose of serving as a regional hub for science, technology and innovation (STI) in Sub-Sahara Africa. Following the UNESCO Africa Field Reform of 2011, UNESCO Regional Office has evolved from a Regional Office for Science and Technology to the even broader scope of a Multi-Sectoral Regional Office responsible for 13 Member States in Eastern Africa and the adjacent Indian Ocean Islands. Countries that we cover are: Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania, Somalia, South Sudan and Uganda.

UNESCO pursues its objectives through five sectors in education, natural sciences, social human sciences, culture, and communication and information. Priority areas for Education are: Monitoring and Coordinating Education Development; Teachers; Skills for Work and Life; Literacy for All; Global Citizenship Education; Higher Education. Natural Sciences:Water Security; Geology, Ecosystems and Biodiversity; Building Capacity in Science and Engineering Science for Society. Social and Human Sciences: Social transformations; Building Peace Programmes; Democracy and Global Citizenship. Culture: Culture for Sustainable Development; Heritage at Risk; World Heritage; Intangible Cultural Heritage; Diversity of Cultural Expressions; Museums; Underwater Cultural Heritage. Communication and Information: Access to information; ICT in Education; Information Preservation; Media Pluralism and Diversity; Press Freedom.

In addition, the Regional Office for Eastern Africa host and coordinate UNESCO Institute of Statistics (UIS), Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), Intergovernmental Council of the International Hydrological Programme (IHP) and The Programme on Man and the Biosphere (MAB) to enhance its capacity to deliver intellectual and humanist response to globalization and emergencies, and with the extraction and transfer of knowledge needed to influence sustainable development of a member state’s legal, policy and implementation frameworks.

UNESCO Regional Director and Representative

Prof. Hubert Gijzen (The Netherlands) holds a PhD in Biotechnology, and has an established career of over 39 years in both academics and international cooperation for sustainable development. Throughout his career, he has lived and worked in various countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Europe, in a range of senior functions as Full Professor and Chair in Universities, as a Diplomat, Team Leader, Regional Representative, and currently as UNESCO Regional Director and Representative.

Besides his current work for UNESCO, he holds academic positions as full Professor of Environmental Biotechnology at IHE Delft Institute for Water Education (since 1995) and as Visiting Professor in other institutions. He has published over 400 articles and books, and presented numerous keynotes in the fields of water management, microbiology, environmental sciences, biotechnology, and sanitary and environmental engineering. He also covered topics on international cooperation, sustainable development, the MDGs, SDGs, big data and climate change. He served in various international advisory functions and on Boards of prestigious Institutes and programmes.

Hubert Gijzen joined the UN in 2006 as the Director of the UNESCO Regional Science Bureau for Asia and the Pacific based in Jakarta, Indonesia. In 2015, he was appointed as the Regional Director of the UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa in Harare, Zimbabwe. As per July 2021 he serves as UNESCO Regional Director for Eastern Africa in Nairobi, and as UNESCO Representative to Kenya, Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Madagascar, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia and Uganda. He is the UNESCO Representative to IGAD and EAC, serves on the UN Regional Directors Team and is member of the UN Regional Coordination Platform for Africa.

Contact Us

Mr. Hubert Gijzen
Director of the Multi-Sectoral Office for Eastern Africa in Nairobi
+254 20 762356
Ms. Louise-Agnès Mackongo
+254 20 7622619
Ms. Elizabeth Nyambura Karanja
+254 20 7622356