Meeting with H.E. Mr. Stanley Mutumba Simataa, President of UNESCO General Conference

On August 23rd, 2016, H.E. Mr. Stanley Mutumba Simataa, President of the 38th UNESCO General Conference, met with the staff members from UNESCO-IICBA and the Liaison Office (LO). After the brief introductions, Dr. Yumiko Yokozeki, Director of UNESCO-IICBA, provided a short overview of the organization, highlighting their mission to improve quality education through teacher development, with particular emphasis on matters of gender, the STEM subjects, and use of ICT. Then, Professor Alaphia Wright, Director of LO in Addis Ababa, shared about the functions of the LO and the important work they do in the areas of science, education, and culture within Ethiopia.

UNESCO-IICBA and LO staff members together with H.E. Mr. Stanley Mutumba Simataa on August 22, 2016

After these brief presentations, Mr. Simataa shared some of his own thoughts. First, he expressed gratitude for the work which UNESCO-IICBA and the LO do in Africa. He emphasized that the delivery of the programs created and supported by UNESCO are essential to meeting the organization’s mandate and maintaining its integrity. In his address, he stated that, “UNESCO is all about what happens in the field offices,” which highlights the essential existence of offices like UNESCO-IICBA and the LO. Additionally, Mr. Simataa agreed that UNESCO-IICBA plays an essential role of the capacity building of teachers in Africa and deserves more visibility and support for the work they do. “Teachers are critical to the equation,” he said. Lastly, Mr. Simataa was open to hearing the comments and suggestions from those in attendance and hoped that this meeting would lead to greater and more effective collaboration among UNESCO offices going forward.