The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Multisectoral Regional Office (UNESCO) and Africa’s leading digital TV operator StarTimes, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to engage in joint projects promoting quality and inclusive education and literacy.

The two parties will also work to enhance youth participation in the cultural and creative industries, advance gender equality in sports, and build inclusive knowledge societies.

UNESCO’s communication materials will reach a wide range of audience in sub-Saharan Africa across the StarTimes broadcast network.

Co-producing content

Under the MoU, the parties will explore opportunities to co-produce content as well as develop projects related to information-and-communication-technology-based education, artificial intelligence, youth empowerment, social inclusion for people living with disabilities, and cultural and creative industries.

“Partnerships with private sector are crucial to address today’s global and regional challenges, and UNESCO emphasizes and values these partnerships contributing to optimal results for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” Mr Ydo Yao, the Regional Director and Representative of UNESCO, said.

Yao StarTimes, as a leading TV operator in Africa, has been actively fulfilling its corporate social responsibilities in sub-Saharan Africa and China.

“This newly-established partnership with StarTimes will bring together advantages and resources to maximize impacts in the areas of education, culture, social and human science, as well as communication and information,” he said.

UNESCO grants high priority to supporting member states to achieve sustainable development in Africa, creating an enabling environment for gender equality, promoting quality and inclusive education and literacy, enhancing youth participation in the cultural and creative industries, as well as building inclusive knowledge societies.

Raise awareness

Mr Luis Lu, the Vice-President of StarTimes, said, the UNESCO partnership is consistent with the work the media company has been doing with UNAIDS to raise awareness on HIV/Aids, and with SOS Children’s Villages to empower African youth.

“StarTimes is committed toward helping African societies to rise in a sustainable manner,” he said. “And this partnership with UNESCO is a new step towards that goal.”

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