Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Ministerial Conference on Education Post-2015

9 February 2015 to 11 February 2015

The Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Ministerial Conference on Education Post-2015 is taking place on 9-11 February 2015 in Kigali, Rwanda. The conference provides an opportunity to review and assess progress made in attaining the Education for All (EFA) goals set in 2000. The aim is to prepare an African vision for the post-2015 education agenda.

The conference is hosted by the Government of Rwanda and organized jointly with UNESCO's Regional Offices in Dakar and Nairobi.

Shaping Africa's Education Agenda for post 2015

The conference will hence define the education needs, obstacles, and priorities in the region, and make recommendations to the World Education Forum to take place in Incheon, Republic of Korea in May 2015, and the post-2015 sustainable development goals to be adopted at the UN Summit in September 2015 in New York, USA.

The sub-Saharan Africa Regional Education Conference will bring together African Education Ministers and stakeholders from other relevant ministries, international organizations, civil society organizations, academia, journalists, etc. from all 47 countries in the region. It is part of a series of regional conferences that will ultimately determine post-2015 education goals, targets, and strategies.

Expected Outcomes

  1. The expected outcomes are threefold as outlined in the concept note:
  2. A shared vision and understanding of EFA status in the region (based on/reflected in a regional synthesis report).
  3. Regional Perspectives on the proposed post-2015 global education goal and targets.
  4. Regional contributions to the development of the Post-2015 Framework for Action and implementation strategy.

National preparations

National EFA 2015 Reviews are being prepared to inform the conference. UNESCO also recommends the organization of mini consultations at the national level to enable countries to discuss the post-2015 proposed education agendas, and to reflect upon these in the perspective of national challenges, priorities in education, as well as on implementation requirements at national level. This will allow a wide array of national stakeholder views, beyond the participants in the regional conference, to inform the post-2015 education agenda from a national perspective.

The sub-Saharan Africa Regional Education Conference is jointly organized by UNESCO’s Regional Offices in Dakar and Nairobi, in consultation with UN agencies and civil society organizations.

Regional preparations

Since 2012, sub-Saharan African governments have been involved in assessing their progress towards Education for All and engaged in efforts to accelerate the progress made.

One regional meeting was organized in October 2012 (Johannesburg, South Africa) to identify the specific priorities and concerns in education in Africa. This lead to the ‘Big Push’ initiative to accelerate efforts to reach the goals by 2015 through a five-step EFA acceleration initiative.

How close is Africa to achieving Education for All?

Seychelles is the only country in Africa that has fully achieved education for all, according to the Sub-Saharan Africa 2013 EFA Report published by UNESCO’s Regional Office in Dakar. It concludes that 31 African countries are likely to attain the six Education for All goals by 2020, if current progress continues. In 22 countries (half of all sub-Saharan African countries with data), the challenges are numerous.

Some of the greatest continuing challenges identified to achieving EFA goals in Africa are:

  • low enrollment rate of girls compared to boys in school
  • severe lack of youth skills necessary for employment,
  • high drop-out rates (42% of African school children leave school early)

UNESCO works with the African Union, Regional Economic Communities, the United Nations agencies, intergovernmental organizations, and representatives of civil society and the private sector to promote the right to education throughout Africa.