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United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's Office in Nairobi, Kenya

Basic and Engineering Science

Within UNESCO's Major Programme II: Science in the service of development under Programme II.1 Advancement, transfer and sharing of knowledge in exact and natural sciences. Specifically in the Basic and Engineering Sciences Section of the UNESCO Nairobi Office (BES/NAI) we are working in with two (2) Main Lines of Action:

  • Improving University Science and Engineering Education. Thereunder:
    Providing grants for staff exchange visits
    Support for dissemination of information among regional institutions
    Support for the development of Engineering Education
  • Promoting Co-operation in Research and Training in Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry. Thereunder:
    Support for organisation of Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry courses at African universities as well as grants to attend the aforesaid courses

Applications for funds and project proposals submitted to UNESCO Nairobi Office for consideration under the Basic and Engineering Sciences Programme, therefore should seek so meet the above-mentioned objectives of the programme. For more information on applications and what should be included contact; the Programme Officer Prof. J.G.M. Massaquoi.

Engineering Sciences
The Office's activities in Engineering Sciences fall under three main themes: engineering education, strengthening and promotion of university-industry cooperation, and the use of renewable energy resources for sustainable development.

Engineering Education
In engineering education, UNESCO is involved in capacity building through regional cooperation among S&T institutions in member states. The recurring activities include the award of post-graduate fellowships, support for visiting professors (Staff Exchange), award of conference grants and various training workshops and short courses. Current activities also include the development of human resource capacity for preparation of learning materials in engineering sciences, the revision of curricula and accreditation systems to make engineering education more relevant and support for new courses through the establishment of UNESCO Chairs.

The organization's strategy for capacity building relies on the efficient use of existing training resources. Hence, networking is actively encouraged. In this connection, a significant amount of the engineering education activities are implemented through the African Network of Scientific and Technological Institutions (ANSTI), itself, a project developed by UNESCO.

Promotion of University-Industry Cooperation
In order to promote cooperation between university and industry the Organisation uses a programme called: University-Industry Science Partnership (UNISPAR) programme. The objective of the programme is to promote cooperation for the utilization of research results generated by local scientists.

The programme offers an opportunity for capacity utilization and the integration of S&T research activities into the productive sectors of the economy. UNISPAR-Africa programme activities can be grouped into three categories; The Organisation of national and regional conferences; the publication of brochures and newsletters to disseminate information on commercialisable research results and the award of small grants for joint university-industry cooperative technology development projects. Through the small grants award scheme UNESCO has supported projects leading to commercial products such as the detection kit for Salmonella DNA which was developed in Zimbabwe, the technology for the manufacture from cellulose for agricultural wastes developed in Nigeria and the wood adhesive formulation now in use in chipboard manufacture in Tanzania.

Utilisation of Renewable Energy Resources for Sustainable Development
The UNESCO Nairobi Office relies on four (4) categories of activities for the promotion of renewable energy resources in Africa. These are: "solar village" demonstration projects, education and training for the use of renewable energy, the development of manufacturing capability for solar energy systems and background studies for project development. The Organisation's office in Nairobi has set up solar energy demonstration projects in Ghana, Niger, Malawi and Kenya. These projects have been used to supply energy in isolated rural communities for activities such as lighting for adult-literacy centres and hospitals, grain milling and water pumping. The projects are intended to show the potential uses of renewable energy. The office has also organised training workshops for technicians and is currently involved in the preparation of training manual for the design, installation, repair and maintenance of solar energy systems. In collaboration with a regional NGO, it is implementing projects to develop national capacities for the manufacture of solar water heaters and the assembly of PV solar systems.

Applications for funds and project proposals submitted to UNESCO Nairobi Office for consideration under the Basic and Engineering Sciences Programme, therefore should seek so meet the above-mentioned objectives of the programme. For more information on applications and what should be included format.


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Last Updated on 12th March 2006
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