Late last year, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Multisectoral Regional Office for West Africa (hereafter called “UNESCO”) and the StarTimes Communication Network Technology Co. Ltd. (hereafter called “StarTimes”), an Africa’s leading digital TV operator, formally established a partnership by signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU).

The Parties agreed, through joint and concerted cooperation, to carry out projects for promoting quality and inclusive education and literacy, enhancing youth participation in the cultural and creative industries, advancing gender equality in sports, and building inclusive knowledge societies.

UNESCO’s communication materials will reach to a wide range of audience in sub-Saharan Africa across the broadcast networks of StarTimes. The Parties will also explore opportunities to co-produce content as well as to 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.

Mr. Ydo Yao, the Regional Director and Representative of UNESCO Abuja Office, said “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). StarTimes, as a leading TV operator in Africa, has been actively fulfilling its corporate social responsibilities in sub-Saharan Africa and China. Upholding shared mission and goals, 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”.

UNESCO grants a 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.

Mr. Luis Lu, the Vice-President of StarTimes, said that “StarTimes is deeply honored to partner with UNESCO. This is consistent with the work we have 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. And this partnership with UNESCO is a new step toward that goal.”

StarTimes is the most dynamic digital TV operator in Africa, serving 30 million users with a signal covering the whole continent and a massive distribution network of 170+ brand halls and 30,000+ distributors in 37 countries. StarTimes owns a featured content platform, with 480 authorized channels consisting of news, movies, series, sports, entertainment, children’s programs, etc. The company’s vision is “To ensure that every African family can access, afford, watch and share the beauty of digital TV”