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

African Union Summit of the Heads of State, January 2007

UNESCO Nairobi Office is collaborating with NEPAD in preparation for the African Union Summit of the Heads of State in January 2007 . The theme of the Summit is Science and Technology and Research for Africa 's Development . In preparation of the Summit , the Department of Resources, Science and Technology of the African Union has planned a series of meetings between March and November 2006. The Director of UNESCO Nairobi Office (Prof. Joseph Massaquoi) has been invited to take part in the Organizing Committee of the Congress of African Scientists and Policy Makers, to be held in Addis Ababa , 27-­30 October 2006. He will also participate in some of the preparatory meetings such as the just concluded Inter-Agency Meeting of the United Nations Cluster he attended in Paris on 09 June 2006.

There are six thematic clusters involving different UN agencies concerning priority areas of NEPAD programme objectives. The Science and Technology cluster which was the last to be established is chaired by UNESCO with UNECA as the vice-chair. The inaugural meeting of the Science &Technology cluster took place in July 2004. Since then the African Conference of Ministers responsible for Science and Technology (AMCOST) approved the African Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action in September 2005 in Dakar , Senegal . Furthermore, at the last AU Summit in Khartoum , it was decided that the next AU Heads of State Summit will have as its theme the "Science Technology and Research for Africa 's Development". The AU/NEPAD has programmed a number of activities leading to the Summit . These developments led to the decision to convene a second meeting of the S&T cluster in support of NEPAD. The purpose of the Paris meeting was to identify what has been done and what should be done in the next few months for NEPAD as it prepares for the AU Summit.

The meeting was attended by almost all the UN agencies who are members of the cluster. These included UNESCO, UNECA, IAEA, UNIDO, UNCTAD, WIPO, UNEP-DITE. There were also representatives from donors including DfID, World Bank Institute and IDRC , UK Permanent Delegation, and the UK National Commission for UNESCO. The NEPAD secretariat and the AU Commission were both represented at the meeting. There were about 20 participants.

The meeting was divided into two parts. In the morning session the UN agencies reviewed their activities in support to NEPAD programme activities in Science and Technology. The NEPAD Science and Technology Advisor (Dr. John Mugabe) presented highlights of the consolidated Science and Technology Plan of Action. Each agency was then given the opportunity to give details of their activities that are in line with the S&T programme of NEPAD.

In the afternoon the meeting was joined by the UNESCO ADGs for Africa and for Science as well as the Permanent Delegate for Senegal in his a capacity as chair of the African Permanent Delegates. This session discussed possible assistance to NEPAD. The NEPAD S&T Advisor underlined the need to strengthen the human resource capacity of the secretariat. He said that there are several project activities which they are unable to implement because the secretariat is weak. Priority should be given to assistance for the NEPAD Science and Technology Secretariat.






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Last Updated on 22 July 2006
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