Welcome to the eleventh edition of the UNITAR Division for Prosperity Newsletter for February 2024!

This quarter, our initiatives achieved milestones around the world, from developing digital skills for African women and youth in Nairobi to training Ukrainian women evacuees in Warsaw. We also empowered entrepreneurs from Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and South Sudan and fostered discussions on nuclear disarmament and sustainable peace in Hiroshima.

Additionally, women and youth from Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe were immersed in mentoring sessions with experts and gained insights from study tours in Japan for green initiatives.

Major News


Programme Review – Digital Upskilling for Women and Youth in Africa 

On 15-16 January 2024, UNITAR hosted a mid-programme review for the “Developing Essential Digital Skills for Women and Youth in Africa” programme in Nairobi. Participants included the Ambassador of Japan to Kenya Mr. Ken Okaniwa, Head of UNITAR Hiroshima Office Ms. Chisa Mikami, industry experts, programme participants and representatives from our partners – Microsoft, IBM and Pasona, Inc. Thanks to the generous funding provided by the Government and the People of Japan, the digital reskilling programme trains 5,000 women and youth across 24 sub-Saharan African countries. 


Developing Future-of-Work Digital Skills for 7,000 Women and Youth in Africa 

From November 2023 to February 2024, UNITAR ran the Japan-funded training programme “Developing Essential Digital Skills for Women and Youth in Africa: Enhancing Employment Opportunities and Livelihood Development in the Digital Economy” to enhance the employability and competitiveness of African women and youth in the global workforce. The free programme provided 7,000 participants from 24 Anglophone African countries with future-of-work digital skills through self-paced learning, boot camps, webinars, hackathons and workshops. 25 learners will participate in the final workshop in Nairobi on 6-7 March. 


The Culmination of the Digital Upskilling Programme for 500 Ukrainian Evacuees 

On 20-21 February 2024, UNITAR held a “Digital Champions” forum at the Polish Japanese Academy of Information Technology in Warsaw. The forum culminated the digital reskilling training programme for 500 Ukrainian women evacuees in Poland, which was made possible by the generous support of the People and Government of Japan, as well as partnerships with institutions and companies in Ukraine, Poland and Japan. In the programme, participants pursued tracks on data analytics, cybersecurity, GIS, or digital graphics and web design. Gaining high-demand digital skills will help improve the women’s livelihood potential. 


Exploring Digital Finance Innovations: UNITAR Digital Finance Conference 

On 15-16 February 2024, UNITAR hosted an interactive conference on the economic impact of the digital economy. The conference featured a hackathon with digital finance innovation challenges, presentations and panel discussions to explore the use of digital finance innovations for inclusive and sustainable development. UNITAR Division for Prosperity Director Ms. Mihoko Kumamoto gave a welcome address to the attending technology innovators, regulators, experts and practitioners from the financial sector. 


Public Forum in Hiroshima on Nuclear Disarmament and Sustainable Peace 

On 10 February 2024, UNITAR hosted a free public forum to foster a greater understanding of nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and the building of sustainable peace. Panellists included Ms. Elyne Whyte (former Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the United Nations in Geneva), Mr. Tariq Rauf (former Head of Verification and Security Policy, International Atomic Energy Agency) and Mr. Takehiro Kagawa (Chair of the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation and Secretary General of Mayors for Peace). The forum was held at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum with the support of the Hiroshima Prefectural Government, Hiroshima City, Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation, Mayors for Peace, and The Chugoku Shimbun. 


International Management Graduate Programme: Partnership with Franklin University Switzerland 

On 2 February 2024, UNITAR and Franklin University Switzerland signed an agreement to collaborate on the university’s Master of Science in International Management. The one-year programme gives students cutting-edge management training in one of three tracks – Arts and Luxury Management, Digital Transformation, or Business and Sustainability. UNITAR will contribute a course on Sustainable Development Goals, to be taught by the UNITAR Division for Prosperity, and supervise students on the Business and Sustainability track while they work on a capstone project in the United Nations system. On 20 March, UNITAR and Franklin University Switzerland will hold a webinar to introduce the programme to prospective students. 


Global Youth Leader Fund for a World Without Nuclear Weapons 

In December 2023, the Youth Leader Fund for a World without Nuclear Weapons was launched with 100 youths from 60 countries. UNITAR will support the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs programme, which aims to build a worldwide network of talented future leaders with the shared goal of saving humanity from nuclear weapons. The 2023-2024 inaugural programme provides peer-to-peer mentorship, an in-person study tour to Hiroshima and Nagasaki and content and training focused on arms control, nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. The programme will engage disarmament experts from think tanks, civil society organizations, media, international organizations and the diplomatic field. 


Completion of Training Programme for Young Entrepreneurs in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and South Sudan

Thirty-five young entrepreneurs from Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and South Sudan visited Japan 15-22 February 2024 to complete the last phase of the Great Ideas Space entrepreneurship programme. The learners immersed themselves in study tours, training, and mentoring sessions to improve their entrepreneurial knowledge and skills to address COVID-19 challenges and combat food insecurity. The training programme culminated with pitch presentations and evaluations from peers and resource persons, fostering synergies among participants.


Reflections from the 2023 G7 Summit 

Ms. Keiko Ogura, a hibakusha (atomic bombing survivor), spoke to UNITAR about her meetings with the leaders at the 2023 G7 Summit. Ms. Ogura, an invaluable peace advocate for UNITAR programmes, called upon G7 leaders to bring about the abolition of nuclear weapons and encouraged individuals around the world to think more deeply about peace. UNITAR hosted three events around the G7 Summit which highlighted young people’s and women’s innovative actions for peace and UNITAR’s training. Ms. Ogura values UNITAR’s role in promoting peace through education. 

Our Impact


Developing Impactful Solutions for Food Security 

Salma Khalifa completed UNITAR and FAO’s first Arabic edition of the e-learning course on “Trade and Food Security”, which was launched in October 2021. Salma, a food scientist and a PhD candidate from Egypt, considered the programme a stepping stone to applying her skills to ensure that safe, nutritious and high-quality food is accessible. Her responsibilities include crafting food regulations and overseeing the entire food supply chain for safety and quality. 


Integrating Food Security Considerations 

Dr. Hosam Eldin Mahdy is Chief Statistician for the Government of Egypt and an alum of UNITAR and FAO’s “Trade and Food Security” training programme. He believes the course’s impact went beyond building his technical skills; he gained the confidence to engage in relevant conversations and new perspectives on the implications of food security policies and research data collection in his region. 


Improved Approach and Linkages 

Sergio Perez Lopez is an alum of UNITAR and FAO’s e-learning course “Comercio, Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutrición” on trade, food security and nutrition and a departmental delegate from Guatemala. The training programme gave him new ideas on how to approach his work and better integrate the work of national and international institutions to provide better services in the Guatemalan health sector. 


A Teacher in Training: Enriching Perspectives 

As an agronomist engineer in Mexico, José Hipólito Rodolfo Mendoza Hernandez has dedicated three decades to teaching agriculture at the postgraduate level. He completed the e-learning course “Comercio, Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutrición”, which broadened his knowledge and perspectives. Rodolfo plans to incorporate the practical tools and socioeconomic approach into the courses he teaches. 


Japanese Teenager’s Mission to Bridge Educational Divide in Cambodia

Anna Takai is a 17-year-old student from Japan committed to bridging educational divides in developing countries. She founded a student organization, For Every Child an Education, which provides technology and educational resources to schoolchildren in Cambodia. Inspired by her participation in the 2021 UNITAR Youth Ambassador Asia Pacific programme, Anna launched an initiative to repurpose unused iPads from Japan and deliver them to schools in Cambodia.


UNITAR Hiroshima Office Is Moving

UNITAR Hiroshima Office is moving to a new home – one that still looks onto the Peace Park, reminding visitors of Hiroshima’s history. Our new address will be posted on our website on 11 March 2024. The current building that houses the Hiroshima Office will be demolished in 2025.

New Advisory Board Member: Ms. Jaehyang So 

Ms. Jaehyang So joined the UNITAR Division for Prosperity Advisory Board. The Advisory Board members support our vision and mission through the thoughtful analysis of the Division’s strategic planning and programme implementation, which are designed to affect long-term change that creates sustainable impact and empowers people and institutions to act as multipliers for positive change.

This is the eleventh issue of the UNITAR Division for Prosperity quarterly newsletter. You can read all issues on our website or stay up to date by following us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Twitter, and TikTok. To subscribe, please sign up here. If you have any questions or comments, we would love to hear from you. Please email us at prosperity_communications@unitar.org. The PDF version of this newsletter will soon be available on this page. 

About UNITAR Division for Prosperity

UNITAR Division for Prosperity offers world-class learning and knowledge-sharing services to present and future change-makers from around the world. We seek to promote sustainable, inclusive and just economic development and catalyse the creation of decent employment opportunities for all. 

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