Signature of a Funds-in-Trust agreement on ICT capacity building in Libya

Signature of a Funds-in-Trust agreement on ICT capacity building in Libya
  • © UNESCO/M. Ravassard

During a ceremony held at UNESCO Headquarters on 2 July 2007, the Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, and the Secretary-General of the General People’s Committee for Higher Education of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Mr Abdelkabir Mohamed El Fakhrey, signed an agreement concerning the establishment of a self-benefiting Funds-in-Trust of US$72 million on ICTs for capacity-building in Higher Education in Libya.

The President of the General Conference of UNESCO, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of the Sultanate of Oman to UNESCO, Dr. Musa Bin Jaafar Bin Hassan, as well as the Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Dr Abdulsalam El-Qallali, attended the ceremony.

The principal objective of this agreement is to assist the General People’s Committee for Higher Education (GPCHE) in setting up a national ICT capacity-building project in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. More specifically, it will include the construction of a national wide area network connecting all Libyan university campuses and the establishment of local area networks, data centres, computer labs, e-classrooms, infrastructure applications, video on demand, specific application systems, online educational content, digital libraries, and multimedia production facilities for each university.

The Director-General welcomed this opportunity to extend UNESCO cooperation with the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and the GPCHE in particular, noting that this agreement was “the conclusion of very fruitful talks and discussions that were initiated during the World Summit on Information Society in Tunisia (November 2005), when the government of Libya called upon UNESCO to prepare a master plan to use ICTs towards reforming its higher education and scientific research systems.” “This project is more than about putting technological tools at the service of educational goals. It is about building shared knowledge societies, which will be the key to a new and “intelligent” form of sustainable human development. UNESCO, in this perspective, will very closely cooperate with the Libyan authorities to harness the potential of ICTs towards reforming the country’s higher education and scientific research systems”, he added.

Mr Matsuura also highlighted the importance of this Funds-in-Trust agreement “as it embodies UNESCO’s concept of knowledge societies.” “I am convinced this project has the potential to become a model for the proper integration of ICTs in education and science, particularly in Africa and for other developing countries”, he concluded.

Dr Abdelkabir Mohamed El Fakhrey, Secretary-General of the GPCHE, also emphasized in his address the high priority attached by Libya to the promotion of powerful research and development capacities, highly effective education systems, public learning and cultural facilities. “This ambitious project is promising because the potential offered by a purposeful use of the new technologies offers real prospects for human and sustainable development”, he underlined.

  • Author(s):Office of the Spokeswoman
  • Source:Flash Info N° 089-2007
  • 03-07-2007
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