Africa is positively changing at an extraordinary speed. But with change also comes risk. Rapid urbanization, growing population, youth unemployment, inequality and social exclusion, new natural resource finds and a changing climate as well as peacebuilding processes, all have the potential to place African societies under considerable strain.
Stability and prosperity start in schools, with quality education, to teach skills for jobs, and skills for peace to all African youth. In a continent where more than 60% of the population is under 25 - empowering people means educating youth, especially girls.
The cradle of humanity is a powerhouse of cultural diversity, and UNESCO’s programmes make the most of the energy of the continent. Education is moreover about learning values for citizenship, stability, and security. It is about teaching the history of Africa that has shaped the world. It is about living together, and teaching media including ICTs, STI and social networks to respond to extremism.
The operational strategy for Priority Africa guides all UNESCO actions in favour of Priority Africa, in particular action under the following flagship programmes.
Strengthening education systems for sustainable development in Africa
- Enhancing teacher education in Africa Contribution to increasing qualified teachers through international cooperation and innovation in developing countries;
- The Better Education for Africa’s Rise project II (Bear II) Promoting and transforming the TVET landscape by empoyering young people in five beneficiary Eastern African countries to access decent employment and self-employment;
- Left Behind: Girls Education in Africa What would their lives be like if they only had 5 years of schooling? UIS Statistics to find out what needs to change.
Fostering science for the sustainable management of Africa’s natural resources and disaster risk reduction
- BIOsphere and Heritage of Lake Chad (BIOPALT) project Both economically and ecologically of vital importance, it provides livelihoods to more than 40 million people while its diverse ecosystems shelter a high diversity of wildlife;
- Indigenous Knowledge and Climate Change in Africa Transdisciplinary research between the pastoral communities and climate scientists to strengthen local capacities and engage with national policy-makers;
- MAB Programme and Great apes conservation Ensuring the long-term survival of chimpanzees, orangutans, gorillas, and bonobos and their habitats;
- Central Africa World Heritage Forest Initiative - CAWHFI Protecting the natural heritage in Central Africa for a better representativity of Congo Basin on the World Heritage List
Harnessing the Power of Culture for Sustainable Development and Peace in a context of regional integration
- Reconstruction of Timbuktu mausoleums Local communities, backed by UNESCO, restore these places of pilgrimage, the oldest of which dates back to the 13th century;
- 10 Creative Cities stimulate cultural industries and promote citizen and cultural participation for sustainable development;
- DigitELLES Senegal benefits You Are Next funding initiative Strengthening 20 women’s digital skills in the music industry;
Promoting an Environment Conducive to Freedom of Expression and Media Development
- Legal Standards on Freedom of Expression, Toolkit for the Judiciary in Africa Highlight the crucial interdependence to grant and protect a fundamental human right;
- Launching of a MOOC for the judiciary in Africa on Freedom of Expression Strengthen the capacities and the knowledge of judiciary actors in order to reinforce the regional legal framework on issues of free speech;
- African justice professionals talk about the course on freedom of expression Raising awareness on the safety of journalists and civil society's role in the judiciary systems.
Promoting a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence
- General History of Africa Since 1964, the collection gives an African perspective, free of the racial prejudice of colonization, to the continent’s past over more than three million years;
- The Slave Route Project Foster peoples rapprochement through the remembrance of five-hundred years of transatlantic slavery, slave trade, and their legacies;
- International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024) Secure the full enjoyment of economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights of people of African Descent, and their full and equal participation in society.
Harnessing STI and Knowledge for the Sustainable Socio-Economic Development in Africa
- Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA-2024)Infrastructure Development, Technical Skills, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Enabling Environment;
- Trends in STI governance in Africa Findings of UNESCO Science Report Towards 2030;
- Global Observatory of STI Policy Instruments (GO-SPIN) Description and analysis of Botswana, Malawi, Rwanda and Zimbabwe STI systems.