TOYIN ADEBAYO, ABUJA
Within the framework of the ECOWAS-UNESCO Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the UNESCO Regional Director, Yao Ydo and the ECOWAS Commissioner for Education, Science and Culture, Leopoldo Amado signed a joint statement on 3rd July 2020, for a joint response to COVID-19 in West African countries.
The response, they say is in line with UNESCO’s mission of contributing to the building of a culture of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue, and the mandate of ECOWAS to promote socio-economic integration and development in all its Member States.
Conscious of the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on health, education, socio-cultural and economic activities of all 15 member-states of ECOWAS, the two entities have developed a joint work plan of interventions to mitigate the effects of the pandemic.
The strategic work plan with clear expected results for the immediate and long terms includes programmes in the fields of education, science and culture.
It includes capacity building interventions to ensure continuity of learning during the pandemic and training in pedagogical and administrative reforms for the reopening of schools in post COVID-19; assistance in strengthening Science Technology and Innovation (STI) Systems; and support for the promotion of cultural heritage and artistic expressions.
UNESCO and ECOWAS, have pooled financial and technical resources for the actualization of the joint response. Both institutions welcome this important step in their cooperation and commit to further strengthening it to ensure the achievement of the regional and global developmental goals in ECOWAS Member States.