About the Commission
The Tanzania National Commission for UNESCO is the focal point in Tanzania for implementation of UNESCO programmes and activities. It has been newly established as an autonomous organization through the UNESCO National Commission of Tanzania UNESCO National Commission of Tanzania Act No. 7 of 2008.
The National Commission acts as the principle link between UNESCO and the government in order to engage all its departments working in all the areas of competence of UNESCO that is, Education, Science, Culture, Communication and Information. The Commission also engages other communities such as non government institutions, intellectual community, civil society and individuals concerned with UNESCO areas of competence in the formulation and execution of UNESCOs related programmes, to ensure Tanzania’s inputs to UNESCO policy making and debate and to encourage support in Tanzania for UNESCO ideals and work.
The Commission is part of a community of 195 UNESCO National Commissions each working as a liaison between UNESCO and its member states with the main mandate of engaging key national actors towards achieving UNESCO ideals of promoting peace, mutual understanding and equitable sustainable human development. National Commissions are unique to UNESCO in the UN System and they work outside the structure of UNESCO as critical partners who coordinate the involvement of key national players in the organizations five sectoral programmes.
Structure and Governance
The Commission chaired by an appointee of the President of the United Republic of Tanzania and is governed by a Board of Commissioners appointed by the Minister of Education and Vocational Training who is responsible for UNESCO affairs. The Commission is composed of 15 Commissioners drawn from government department, universities and members of the civil society from both Mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar. It operates five sectoral Technical Committees (Education, Science, Social Science, Culture and Communication and Information) and coordinates several National Committees for UNESCO intergovernmental programmes and as well as other UNESCO special programmes.
Although this will be a hosted and moderated portal it with also have a component of direct e-debates and discussions on various topical issues raised by the target groups.
The central aim will be to provide small-scale farmer and business interest groups with information which will enable them to identify the business opportunities and the ways of access these opportunities so as to increase their volume of trade and earnings as a result of tapping into market opportunities brought by the EAC Common Market and Customs Union Protocols.
Functions of the Commission
The Commission serves as the official link between the government of the United Republic of Tanzania and UNESCO, helping to promote international understanding and co-operation among Tanzanians through educational, scientific and cultural activities so as to contribute to global peace and security. For purposes of this article, a few of its functions are delineated as follows.Acting as an advisory body, the Commission assists the government in determining its policy with regard to UNESCO and its activities. It also serves as liaison regarding organizations, institutions and individuals in Tanzania who are interested in UNESCO’s work, the Headquarters and other National Commissions and co-operating agencies of Member States.The National Commission plays the important role of contributing to UNESCO’s planning and programming processes through national consultations with relevant governmental bodies and other stakeholders, taking into account UNESCO’s mandates and priorities.Regarding liaison and outreach, the Commission fosters links with relevant governmental, non-governmental institutions, civil society, grassroot organizations, volunteer organizations and networks such as UNESCO Clubs and the Associated Schools Project Network (ASPnet) to promote UNESCO’s ideals and programmes.The Commission further proposes candidates for prizes and assists in conducting search for candidates for vacant posts at UNESCO and in the placement of UNESCO Fellowship grants, while helping to forge new partnerships.
Regarding the implementation of UNESCO’s programmes, the Commission submits biennially, Participation Programme Requests covering projects to UNESCO, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the General Conference.Finally, it contributes to the implementation of activities under the Regular Programme of UNESCO, undertakes to seek support from potential donors at the national level, assist in protecting UNESCO against the mis-use of its name and logo.The Commission acts as a clearing-house, disseminating information from and to UNESCO as required, and contributes to promoting the positive visibility of UNESCO in the country.