=>Kenya to Chair ICH Eevaluation Body Read More
=>2017 UNU-IAS Master's and Doctoral Degree Programmes Scholarship Application Read More to Apply

=>2018 Edition of the Mauritius-Africa Scholarship Scheme Read More 

=>Fellowship L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science in Sub Saharan Africa Read More 30 April 2018

=>Brookings Careers Echidna Global Scholars Program: Read More to Apply Before

=>UNESCO/ISEDC Co-Sponsored Fellowships Programme - 2018 now open. For more info please click here The application deadline is 3 April 2018.

=>Call for applications of 2018 AAAS-TWAS Science Diplomacy course Read More Deadline: 9th April 2018

  • =>Call for Nominations: UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence Read More to apply before 30 April 2018 at midnight CET
  • =>Call for application: Green Chemistry research grants for young scientists. Green Chemistry for Life Grant Programme: Application deadline: Deadline: 28 February 2018. Read More to Apply
  • =>Call for Nominations for the L’OREAL-UNESCO Prize for Women in Science Read More to Apply
World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development 2018

Message from the Director General

UNESCO DGToday, UNESCO is celebrating the 18th World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. Cultural diversity gives our life its richness, its colour and its dynamism. It is a cognitive and intellectual opening and a driving force for social development and economic growth.

Of course, cultural diversity is not in itself a factor of peace and progress. For this it requires learning, learning about otherness, the ability to shift focus away from oneself, to dialogue and to recognize the value concealed in each culture.

This World Day is specifically designed to raise awareness of these issues. It invites us to go beyond the acknowledgement of diversity and to recognize the benefits of cultural pluralism, regarded as an ethical and political principle of equal respect for cultural identities and traditions.

This principle is at the heart of the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, adopted by the Organization in 2001, which recognizes cultural diversity as part of the common heritage of humanity, and as a driving force for peace and prosperity. The issues raised by this Declaration, written in the aftermath of the attacks of 11 September, remain highly relevant.

First of all, there is the need to protect the different forms of cultural expression – languages, arts, crafts, lifestyles – especially those of minority peoples, so that they are not swept away by the movement of standardization that accompanies globalization. These are essential elements for defining individual and collective identities and, as such, their protection falls under the respect for human dignity.

Second is the issue of access to the cultural life of one’s community or country. This is also a right enshrined in Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, whose 70th anniversary we mark this year: “Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits”.

While the technological revolution has made many cultural and artistic forms more easily accessible, and trade throughout the world has increased exponentially, there are still many obstacles to equal access to goods and services. This particularly affects women, socially disadvantaged people and minority communities within their country. That is why UNESCO, on this World Day, is organizing in Paris a panel of discussions around this central question: “How can we make culture accessible to all?”

Finally, to be able freely to build one’s identity, drawing on various cultural sources, and to be able to develop one’s heritage in a creative way are the foundations of a peaceful and sustainable development of our societies. This is an essential issue, and a challenge for the future: integrating culture into a global vision of development.

This is the challenge launched, for example, by the Creative Cities Network supported by UNESCO: comprising 180 cities in 72 countries, the network aims to foster a sustainable urban development model, focusing on creative arts and based on active cooperation among cities worldwide.

“I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the culture of all lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible." With this imagery, Mahatma Gandhi was suggesting that culture is not a heritage set in stone, but one that is living and breathing, open to influences and dialogue, allowing us to adapt more peacefully to the changes in the world.

UNESCO invites everyone on this day of celebrations to open their doors and windows to the invigorating wind of diversity!

Audrey Azoulay, Director General

Kenya Hosts Continental Conference on Education

By Dr. Evangeline Njoka, MBS

The Government of Kenya through the Ministry of Education has been accorded the honour to host the Pan African High Level meeting on Education (PACE 2018) from 25th- 27th April, 2018 at Safari Park Hotel. This high level conference is jointly organized by the Ministry of Education, Kenya, UNESCO and the African Union.
Subsequent to Kenya’s Membership to UNESCO in April 7, 1964, the Kenya National Commission for UNESCO (KNATCOM) was established in 1964 as a Department under the then Ministry of Education. The Commission was transformed into a State Corporation on 25th January, 2013 following the enactment of the Kenya National Commission for UNESCO Act 2013.
As a Commission, KNATCOM has a dual mandate of promoting Kenya’s national interests in UNESCO and UNESCO’s international interests in Kenya, regionally and globally. The Commission: promotes collaborations between national and international institutions; promotes knowledge and information sharing; facilitates national and international policy formulation in the fields of education, sciences, culture and communication & information; mobilizes financial, technical and informational resources from UNESCO, among many other functions.
Education transforms lives and is at the heart of UNESCO’s mission to build peace, eradicate poverty and drive sustainable development. UNESCO provides global and regional leadership in education, strengthens education systems worldwide and responds to contemporary global challenges through education. This is founded on a strong view that education is a human right for all throughout life and that access needs be matched by quality. The organization has been entrusted to lead the Global Education 2030 Agenda through Sustainable Development Goal 4.
In 2015, the international community, after an unprecedented and inclusive consultation process, endorsed the comprehensive 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development comprised of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The post 2015 Agenda recognises education as a main driver of development in general and as such considered fundamental for achieving all the other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDG 4 aims to: “ensure equitable inclusive quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all”. Additionally, in 2016, the African Union, in the bid to support the new vision for development of the continent (Agenda 2063) and ‘to “create” a new African citizen that can be ‘an effective change agent of this drive’, endorsed the Continental Strategy for Education in Africa 2016-2025 (CESA 16-25). The Strategy is the African response to own the SDGs, and shape and adapt them to the specific needs of the continent, building on lessons learnt from previous education strategies and plans. It aims at “Reorienting Africa’s education and training systems to meet the knowledge, competencies, skills, innovation and creativity required to nurture African core values and promote sustainable development at the national, sub-regional and continental levels.”

Nearly three years after the endorsement of the SDGs, and two years after the adoption of CESA 16-25, African countries are at different stages of progress in integrating/mainstreaming the internationally and regionally agreed targets and commitments into their national education policies, plans and practices. It is therefore important, in the pursuit of the targets set in the education frameworks, to take stock of the progress made and to identify both the challenges and the opportunities related to education legislation, policy, plans, financing, monitoring and information systems, as well as the devised mechanisms for consultation, coordination, collaboration and reporting.

The meeting targets Heads of state of the African Union Champion Countries on Education, Science and Technology (Senegal, Tunisia, Mauritius, Malawi, Gabon Namibia, Chad, The Arab Republic of Egypt, Sierra Leone and Kenya) as well as the Heads of State for Seychelles, Rwanda and Ghana who have made remarkable progress in instituting education reforms in their countries. The meeting will also bring together Ministers of Education and Permanent Secretaries from all the African Countries, key officials from the Africa Union, UNESCO, other United Nation Agencies, representatives of African Regional blocks, members of the civil society in Education from across the continent and the private sector.

Drawing on the Global and Regional commitments and guided by the theme “Bridging continental and global education frameworks for the Africa We Want”, PACE 2018 will deepen the understanding of some key transversal issues and enable knowledge and experiences sharing for the advancement of the education agenda. PACE 2018 will also provide an opportunity to share progress, success stories, challenges and lessons learned by Member States thus far and to contribute to the ongoing discussions on the 2063 African Union vision The Africa We Want. It is envisaged that the meeting will allow African countries to reflect and prepare for two upcoming major global events, the Global Education Meeting (GEM) (December 2018) and the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) (July 2019), both intended as mechanisms for monitoring progress of the global education 2030 agenda and the SDGs.

The Expected outcomes from the meeting are: improved understanding on key issues for the development of education in Africa; a shared understanding on the status of alignment of national education plans with SDG4 and CESA 16-25; an agreed joint mechanism for monitoring progress and reporting; enhanced support and commitment for improved coordination and articulation at sub-regional and regional levels and an endorsed Outcome Statement

The Kenya National Commission for UNESCO is pleased to be associated with this meeting. We are keen to support the Government of Kenya through the Ministry of Education to institute comprehensive education reforms in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and as envisioned by the Agenda 2063 and the Continental Strategy for Education in Africa 2016-2025. We appreciate the efforts by the Ministry to align the Education Sector policies and plan to the global and continental commitments as a key milestone towards successful implementation of the frameworks.
I appeal to all stakeholders to support the Government in the endevour to provide inclusive, equitable and quality and education services to all Kenyans as provided in the aspirations of the Agenda 2063 and SDG4 targets.
Hashtag #PACE2018
Dr Njoka is the Secretary General of Kenya National Commission for UNESCO.


CALL FOR APPLICATIONS February 26th – April 16th, 2018

United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) on February 26th, 2018) launched its 9th call for funding requests for the International Fund for Cultural Diversity (IFCD). IFCD is a multi-donor fund established under Article 18 of the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions that supports projects that aim to foster the emergence of a dynamic cultural sector, primarily through activities facilitating the introduction and/or elaboration of policies and strategies that protect and promote the diversity of cultural expressions as well as the reinforcement of institutional infrastructures supporting viable cultural industries. The IFCD is notably used to promote South-South and North-South-South cooperation, while contributing to achieving concrete and sustainable results as well as structural impacts, where appropriate, in the cultural field.

Since 2010, the IFCD has provided more than US$ 7 million in funding for nearly 100 projects in over 50 developing countries, covering a wide range of areas, from the development and implementation of cultural policies, to capacity-building of cultural entrepreneurs, mapping of cultural industries and the creation of new cultural industry business models.

For more details visit




CALL FOR APPLICATIONS February 26th – April 16th, 2018

U40 Empowered: Women Entrepreneurs Powering The Digital Creative Industries “U40 Empowered” is a UNESCO initiative started in 2018 with the support of Sabrina Ho.

This initiative expands the actions of the International Fund for Cultural Diversity by supporting projects from national and international NGOs that promote young female cultural entrepreneurs working in the digital creative industries. It is designed to increase opportunities for women under 40 to access funding, infrastructure, equipment and co-production opportunities in the digital creative industries. “U40 Empowered” will also support strategies that address the different needs, aspirations, capacities and contributions of women. Through support for such projects, “U40 Empowered” will unlock opportunities for young women entrepreneurs and realise their full potential in the digital creative industries.

Please note that project proposals submitted to this call must comply with specific criteria, will be evaluated by an independent Panel of Experts and will be approved directly by Ms Sabrina Ho.

For more information visit




Call For Application: International Fund For Cultural Diversity Form For Download 




During its twelfth session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) held in Jeju Island (Republic of Korea), in December, 2017, Kenya’s Mr. John Moogi Omare, Director of Culture Programme at Kenya National Commission for UNESCO (KNATCOM) was appointed, for the third term, as a member of the Evaluation Body for 2018 cycle. 

Kenya John Omare Evaluation

Mr Omare was appointed in his capacity as an expert on Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) and representative of Kenya – State Party non-Member of the Committee.


The first meeting of the Evaluation Body for 2018 cycle of the Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage was held on 6th and 7th March 2018 at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France.During this meeting, Mr. Omare was elected as the Chair of the Evaluation Body. 

Mr Omare at the meeting of the Evaluation Body at UNESCO HQ, Paris, France, where he was elected Chair of the Body.


Starting with 2015 cycle, and in conformity with paragraph 27 of the Operational Directive, the Committee established a consultative body (the ‘Evaluation Body’) to evaluate the nominations to the Lists, the proposals for the Register of Best Safeguarding Practices and International Assistance requests greater than US$100,000. The Evaluation Body makes recommendations to the Committee for its final decision.

The Evaluation Body is composed of twelve members appointed by the Committee: six experts qualified in the various fields of the intangible cultural heritage representatives of States Parties non-Members of the Committee and six accredited non-governmental organizations, taking into consideration equitable geographical representation and various domains of intangible cultural heritage.

Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) is defined as the practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, skills as well as the instruments, objects, artifacts and cultural spaces that communities, groups and individuals recognize as part of their cultural heritage. Intangible Cultural Heritage is manifested in the following domains:

  • Oral traditions and expressions, including language as a vehicle of the Intangible Cultural Heritage;
  • Performing arts;
  • Social Practices, rituals and festive events;
  • Knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe; and
  • Traditional craftsmanship.

The Evaluation Body also elected the Vice Chairperson, Mr. Eivind Falk, Director, Norwegian Crafts Institute from Norway and the Rapporteur Ms. Kuminková, Eva, Deputy Director, Czech Ethnological Society, Wallachian Open Air Museum in Rožnov pod Radhoštěm, from Czech Republic.

Role of the Chairperson

During the Evaluation Body meetings, the Chairperson directs the discussion, ensures smooth conduct of proceedings and maintains order, seeks to secure consensus whenever possible, and summarizes each decision taken by the Body. Further, he or she also validates (together with the Rapporteur) the final texts of the report of the Body, including the draft decisions. During the Intergovernmental Committee meeting, the chairperson presents each file evaluated, the main points of the debate on it and the draft decisions. The Chairperson also represents the recommendations of the Body if questioned by Committee Members. 

A second meeting lasting five days is scheduled for 18th to 22nd June 2018 to allow the Evaluation Body to discuss individual evaluations of each nomination. A third and final meeting lasting three days is scheduled for 26th to 28th September 2018 to allow the Evaluation Body to adopt their report, including the recommendations for each nomination file. Fifty (50) files will be evaluated in the current cycle.

This report will be submitted by the Chairperson to the thirteenth session of the Intergovernmental Committee to be held in the Republic of Mauritius, from 26th November to 1st December 2018).

The Enkipaata, Eunoto and Olng’esherr: three male rites of passage of the Maasai community in Kenya will be among the files to be examined during the 2018 cycle for possible inscription into UNESCO’s List of elements in Need of Urgent Safeguarding. 

Kenya to chair ICH evaluation body