Japan Supports UNESCO’s Conflict Prevention Effort in Ethiopia

ADDIS ABABA – The Government of Japan has financed half a million-dollar to UNESCO’s peace education project in Ethiopia and the rest of Africa.

Japan has been one of the key donors for African Development particularly through the Tokyo International Conference on African Development or TICAD Initiative.

Japanese humanitarian assistance to Ethiopia to be implemented in 2019/2020 Japanese Fiscal Year has increased threefold to over 32.5 million USD up from 11.1 million USD in the previous year.

The latest project finance agreement will fund UNESCO-International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa (IICBA), which focuses on conflict prevention and is part of a new humanitarian assistance package to be implemented with various UN organizations.

On Wednesday, Japanese ambassador to Ethiopia, Daisuke Matsunaga, and Director of the UNESCO-IICBA, Yumiko Yokozeki has singed the financial agreement to support the UN agency’s project on peacebuilding.

Ambassador Matsunaga explained that the “project targets teachers involved in educating young people in Africa”.

“They are expected to advocate peace and inspire young people with values and attitudes to prevent violent extremism,” said the ambassador.

The latest assistance is part of Japan’s New Approach for Peace and Stability (NAPSA) that will be implemented in collaboration with the African Union and regional economic communities on the continent.

“The Government of Japan is pleased to support this project, which is aligned with the 2020 AU theme ‘Silencing the Guns’,” said the ambassador.

Initiated by the UNESCO-IICBA, the project intends to formulate teaching materials working closely with the Ministry of Education, universities and teacher training institutions in Ethiopia and 25 other African countries and support the integration of peace education into the current tertiary education and teacher education curricula and programs.

The project capitalizes upon lessons learned from the teacher training and development for peacebuilding in the Horn of Africa including Ethiopia, and the Sahel region that was carried out from 2017 to 2019 with the support of Japan.

Through this project, about 5,000 teachers in 26 African countries will be trained in transformative pedagogy for peace education.

By Mhret G. Kristos