ADEA, JICA and the ICQN on Mathematics and Science Education converge to promote STEM in Africa

Photo: Official Opening of the Conference

15th – 17th March, 2016: Ms. Oley Dibba-Wadda, the Executive Secretary of the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA), called on Africa’s policy and decision makers to implement affirmative and deliberate programs aimed at improving women and girls’ participation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Speaking at the Regional Conference on Mathematics and Science Education held at the Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education in Africa (CEMASTEA) in Nairobi, Ms. Dibba-Wadda who was one of the panellists further urged governments to increase financial resources for scaling up proven innovative and home-grown or contextually adapted practices to raise STEM uptake in Africa. 

Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Education, Science and Technology, Dr. Fred Matiang’i, officially opened the conference and inaugurated a new office block for the ICQN-MSE and the ICQN on Peace Education in the presence of the Director of CEMASTEA, Mr. Stephen Njoroge, the ADEA Executive Secretary, and the Director General of Human Development Department in Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Dr. Takao Toda. Dr. Matiang’i called for a shift in policies towards science-based subjects across the entire education and training continuum.

Senior education experts from 27 African Ministries of Education and their counterparts from ADEA, JICA, World Bank, UNESCO-IICBA, SEAMEO RECSAM[1] and the University of Sussex reaffirmed the relevance of STEM in Africa’s economic growth and sustainable development. They called for strengthening teachers’ facilitation role if teachers are to remain at the centre of STEM improvement, and strongly encouraged greater community inclusiveness and participation in improving the quality of STEM in the continent.

JICA in collaboration with ADEA, ICQN-MSE, the Kenya Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MOEST) and CEMASTEA organised this unique gathering that provided a timely opportunity to share lessons learned on STEM’s critical contribution to the African society and to showcase successful MSE models across the continent and beyond. It was held a few days after the inaugural Next Einstein Forum in Dakar and the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai, with the outcomes expected to feed into TICAD VI (Tokyo International Conference on African Development) scheduled for Nairobi in August 2016.

The ADEA Executive Secretary appreciated the contribution of the Government of Kenya as a permanent member of ADEA, host of the ICQNs on Mathematics and Science Education and Peace Education, a key member of the Network for African Learning Assessment (NALA) that ADEA leads and coordinates, and a stakeholder in driving the work of the Rwanda-led ICQN on Teaching and Learning. She further recognized JICA’s key role as a major partner of ADEA, providing requisite quality support to the former Working Group on Mathematics and Science Education, and now as the ICQN-MSE.

For further information, contact Mr. Patrick Kogolla, ICQN-MSE Coordinator (; Mr Shem Bodo, ADEA Senior Programs Officer ( or visit: 


 [1] The Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Regional Centre for Education in Science and Mathematics, based in Malaysia