At the invitation of the United Republic of Tanzania, the Director-General of UNESCO, Ms Irina Bokova, was received by the President of the United Republic of Tanzania, H.E. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, on 5 February.
The meeting was an opportunity to exchange views on issues of common interest relating to Africa as well as the situation in Mali. In this regard, the Director-General informed the President of her visit to Mali with the French President François Hollande on 2 February. The main aim of the visit to Mali was to launch the process of reconstruction and safeguarding of the cultural heritage of northern Mali, including the mausoleums of Timbuktu and the city’s fabulous collection of manuscripts.
President Kikwete commended the Director-General for her strong leadership of the Organization and assured her of the United Republic of Tanzania's support, especially in these difficult circumstances.
He expressed his satisfaction on the long-standing and deep cooperation between Tanzania and UNESCO, which is a key partner in Tanzania, especially in the areas of education, communication and information, culture, as well as Science Technology and Innovation (STI).
The discussion addressed also a range of issues, including reinforced action to improve the quality of education at the horizon of 2015 and the post-2015, the need to find innovative ways to reach students from nomadic communities, the Organization's continued support to the reform process of the STI system as well as the African Liberation Heritage's programme.
The meeting was an opportunity also to emphasize the critical role of the natural and cultural heritage for social and economic development in Tanzania, a land of natural wonders and great cultural diversity.
The Director-General expressed her gratitude to the President Kikwete for his support and assured him of the Organization's readiness to accompany Tanzania in its further efforts towards inclusive and sustainable development.