UNESCO’s Science Sector contributes to the organizations overall mission of building peace and promoting sustainable development through science, and has two strategic objectives to achieve this:

  • Strengthening Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) systems and policies nationally, regionally and globally;
  • Promoting International scientific cooperation on critical challenges to sustainable development.

See Report: UNESCO Science for Peace and Sustainable Development

Nigeria, since its return to democratic rule in 1999, has made steps to revive the Science and Technology sector in the country.  Having identified the importance of Science, Technology and Innovation in achieving their economic development objectives, the government has integrated and promoted STI developments in several national development agendas, including the current economic development agenda, the Nigeria Vision 20:2020. 

Increased support has been given to the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology to expand their efforts in reviewing and revitalizing the National STI policy through collaboration with scientists and international partners.

UNESCO has supported Nigeria in the revitalization of its national STI policies. At the request of the Government, an International Advisory Board for the reform of the countries STI system was established by UNESCO in October 2004. The reviewed STI policy was launched in 2012.

UNESCO continues to provide technical support to the Nigerian government. The Organization assisted in the establishment of two Category II Centres in Nigeria, namely: the International Centre for Biotechnology at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and the Regional Centre for Integrated River Basin Management, in Kaduna.

In 2013, representatives of the UNESCO Natural Science Sector and the Nigerian Minister of Science and Technology discussed the revival of the Science component of the Nigeria/UNESCO Special Plan of Cooperation, which was endorsed in 1999 but has been stalled since 2007.