ROSA seeks to strengthen cooperation with SADC, UN partners and EU in Botswana

UNESCO Regional Director for Southern Africa, Prof. Hubert Gijzen held separate meetings with the new United Nations Resident Coordinator (UNRC) for Botswana, Mr. Zia Choudhury; SADC Deputy Executive Secretary, Dr. Thembikosi Mhlongo and the European Union Ambassador to Botswana, Mr. Jan Sadek on 11th February 2020 to strengthen cooperation ties.

In his meeting with the new UNRC, the Regional Director alluded to the UNESCO Regional Support Strategy which he said guided UNESCO’s interventions in the region. He made special mention of the UNESCO/SADC Joint Programme of Action highlighting some of key areas of cooperation that include, renewable energy and water resources management. 

The UNRC urged UNESCO to participate in UN Country Team (UNCT) meetings to the extent possible to strengthen cooperation with other UN Agencies in Botswana.

UNESCO and SADC agreed to further strengthen their ties following a meeting between the UNESCO Regional Director and SADC Deputy Executive Secretary. After discussing some key challenges facing the region such as the energy crisis, water shortages and the HIV and AIDS epidemic, the two agreed to upscale their efforts to address these challenges and contribute to sustainable development.

The meeting between the UNESCO Regional Director and the EU Delegation discussed how the two agencies were supporting Botswana and how they could work together in enhancing the country’s development. 

UNESCO appealed with the EU to consider supporting UNESCO/SADC initiatives around water management, renewable energy, cultural tourism, technical and vocational education, and comprehensive sexuality education (CSE), among others.

The UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa is seeking to be a partner of choice for development partners in the region. Through its Regional Support Strategy, the Office envisions a sustainably developed southern Africa in the near future. It appreciates that in order to achieve this, it has to work with various stakeholders and partners including SADC, EU and UN agencies. The meetings held in Botswana were crucial in streamlining areas of potential cooperation.