We are helping Nigeria and Tanzania to reform their national science systems.
We are strengthening the capacity of researchers, policymakers, development partners and the private sector.
We have done so with seven countries of the Economic Community of West Africa States, and with Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda.
Effective policies need sharp and precise data.
This is the unique roles of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics and the global UNESCO Science Reports.
We launched recently the Science, Technology and Innovation Global Assessment Programme and the Global Observatory on Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Instruments to take this further.
UNESCO’s new Engineering Initiative to support engineering education has a focus on Africa.
UNESCO is also actively promoting links between science, technology, innovation and industry -- through our University-Industry Science Partnership Programme, on the governance of science and technology parks.
We are working also to help young scientists take part in research and development in biodiversity.
The World Association of Young Scientists, created by UNESCO in 2004, is active across the continent -- as is the network of UNESCO University Chairs. There is still a lot of work to do here.
These include UNESCO Chairs for Women in Science in Kenya, Sudan and Burkina Faso.
Women are a special focus of our work.
Just last week, I was honoured to award the L’ORÉAL-UNESCO Prizes for Women in Science to five outstanding researchers, including Professor Jill Farrant from the University of Cape Town, South Africa.
This year, as part of the L’OREAL-UNESCO For Women in Science Partnership, a young woman scientist from Kenya, Peggoty Mutai, benefitted from the UNESCOL’Oreal International Fellowships programme.
Last May, I launched a new Global Partnership for Girls’ and Women’s Education, in the presence of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the United States Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Read the entire Address by Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of the opening of the Ministerial Conference African Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) for Youth Employment, Human Capital Development and Inclusive Growth