Nairobi to Join UN Global Network of Learning Cities

  • An aerial view of Nairobi City
    An aerial view of Nairobi City
  • The Nairobi City County Government has been invited to join the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Global Network of Learning Cities (GNLC) whose mission is to support and accelerate the practice of lifelong learning.

    A press statement issued by Nairobi County on Thursday, June 25  stated that the Kenya National Commission for UNESCO (Knatcom) acknowledged Governor Mike Sonko's leadership. It added that he has been committed to promoting effective lifelong learning policies and practices that support the development of inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities.
    Sonko, on his end, urged Kenya to reinvent its education systems to focus on alleviating poverty as well as addressing issues related to her fast-growing population.

    "This will help us forge more links and partnerships and we will be in a position to have an influential role in national and world affairs," Sonko stated.
    The governor revealed that Nairobi is in consultations with UNESCO to adopt some of its programs geared towards the implementation of a lifelong learning strategy for inclusive, sustainable urban development goals.
    With the county being in charge of Early Childhood Education (ECDE) the focus will be on how to increase the number of ECDE centres and have enough personnel in terms of teaching and incorporating content related to the same in the learning programs.
    During his visit to City Hall in 2019, European Union Ambassador Simon Mordue stated that Kenya has had the second-largest relationship with the EU in terms of trade. 
    "Nairobi continues to be a key partner and we are looking at further ways we can work together going forward," he said.
    He emphasized the need for the governor to consider investing more in research and technological innovation to solve some of its challenges.

    Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko speaking during the JKlive show on March 4, 2020.
    Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko speaking during the JKlive show on March 4, 2020.

     The international policy-oriented network provides inspiration, know-how and best practice. Learning cities at all stages of development can benefit greatly from sharing ideas with other cities, as solutions for issues that arise as one learning city develops may already exist in other cities.

    "Based on the sharing of ideas and solutions between cities, the network has a two-fold objective – to ensure quality education that is inclusive and equitable, with lifelong learning opportunities for all; and to make cities open to all, safe, resilient and sustainable," read UNESCO statement. 

    It also supports and improves the practice of lifelong learning in the world’s cities by promoting policy dialogue and peer learning among member cities; forging links; fostering partnerships; providing capacity development; and developing instruments to encourage and recognize progress made in building learning cities.

    A photo of Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko gesturing at a past media interview.
    Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko gestures at a past media interview.