UNESCO chair to support sustainable development research

The UNESCO chair of advancement, planning and sustainable development, Anticipation, Prospective et Territoires Durables in French, has been officially inaugurated at the Université Alassane Ouattara (Alassane Ouattara University) in Bouaké, Côte d’Ivoire.

The new chair is the first in French-speaking Sub-Saharan Africa dedicated to the discipline, which will focus on questions concerning the evolution of systems and forecasting processes with the aim of better informing territorial policies, reported the Fédération Atlantique des Agences de Presse Africaines, or FAAPA.

At the inauguration ceremony on 26 July, Professor Sylvestre Kouamé Kouassi, the titular head of the new chair, explained: “Its approach is founded on the three pillars of the UNESCO chairs for studies for the future – notably research, education and strengthening forward planning for the territories and involvement of local communities,” reported Fraternité Matin, or Fratmat.

It would “promote international scientific cooperation concerning the major challenges of sustainable development, participating in South-North collaboration, especially in Africa and in Europe,” said Kouassi.

At a press interview after the inauguration, Kouassi identified specific areas for consideration, including planning of land use, local development and decentralisation, commenting that, today, these were “virtually irreversible. But, in regard to governance, the multiplicity of actors and others does not make it easy to achieve the objectives that have been assigned,” FAAPA reported him as saying.

He also cited the governance of African towns, which he said faced many challenges, and of land and rural areas, including agriculture; protected areas such as forests; and questions of geopolitics.

Following the inauguration of the chair, an international symposium was held on the theme ‘La Prospective de la Gouvernance des Territoires en Afrique face aux Enjeux de Développement Durable’ (‘Forecasting the Governance of Territories in Africa faced with the Challenges of Sustainable Development’).

The chair of advancement, planning and sustainable development is the second UNESCO chair based at Université Alassane Ouattara; the first, dedicated to bioethics, was launched in 2010. — Compiled by Jane Marshall.

This article is drawn from local media. University World News cannot vouch for the accuracy of the original reports.