UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

07/16/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/16/2021 02:21

UNESCO’s new Director visits University of Nairobi

The new UNESCO Regional Director for Eastern Africa Professor Hubert Gijzen paid a courtesy call on University of Nairobi Vice-Chancellor Professor Stephen Kiama on 14 July 2021. In his maiden visit since he moved to Nairobi as the new Regional Director for UNESCO on July 1, 2021, Prof Gijzen noted that he is happy to be back in familiar territory at the University of Nairobi, an institution he used to visit regularly since the late 1980s.

Welcoming him, the VC noted that the University enjoy cordial relations with the UNESCO and therefore, he hopes that this will be deepened during his tenure. At the meeting, Prof Walter Jaoko, Director, KAVI Institute of Clinical Research gave a brief summary of RADA Mobile Application, an innovative digital platform developed by university students with technical support from UNESCO to address a myriad of challenges faced by young people to promote health and wellbeing using IT.

In his remarks, Prof Gijzen noted that RADA provides an opportunity for expanded partnership between UNESCO and the University of Nairobi since the education system is crucial in bringing behavioral change especially among young people. He noted that COVID-19 has underscored the importance of education for health and wellbeing.

The UNESCO Director took the opportunity to introduce the O3 Plus, a four year programme on health and wellbeing in tertiary institutions in Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe supported by the Governments of Switzerland and Sweden. He observed that O3 Plus is an offshoot of the UNESCO Flagship Programme Our Rights, Our Lives, Our Future (O3), which is active in 33 countries in Africa, and which he nurtured during his tenure in UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa, based in Harare, Zimbabwe. As such, he promised to work with UoN to ensure that the programme will generate transformational change for students. In Kenya, the programme will be implemented in all UoN's 10 campuses, he said.