ADEA High-Level Policy Dialogue Forum on “Secondary Education in Africa : Preparing Youth for the Future of Work”

29 July 2019 to 30 July 2019
South Africa

The Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) concluded its High-Level Annual Policy Dialogue on Secondary Education in Africa: Preparing Youth for the Future of Work. In partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, the Department for Basic Education of South Africa (DBE) and the African Development Bank Group (AfDB),  the event concluded that it is critical to reform secondary education in Africa by enhancing the teaching profession, quality learning and 21st century skills provision, and embracing innovation and information and communication technology (ICT).

Opened by H.E. Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa, Education Ministers from across the continent engaged on how to design and transform education systems within secondary education to better prepare African youth for the changing nature of work. In his speech,

President Ramaphosa highlighted that “Africa’s demographic dividend can only be earned through our investment in the continent’s highest-yielding resource: its young people.” 

He further added that “secondary education empowers young people at a time when they are most hopeful, experimental and flexible in their lives, and we should embrace this life stage as one to empower young people to take charge of their lives and our collective future.” 

Mastercard Foundations’s Report on Secondary Education in Africa: Preparing Youth for the Future of Work is the Foundation’s latest collaborative effort between multiple donors, partners, and research organizations including a key partnership with ADEA. The report, due to be released in early 2020, focuses on the role of secondary education in ensuring youth acquire the skills, knowledge, and competencies necessary to succeed in a dynamic and globalized labor market. 

Over the course of the two-day forum, more than 160 participants highlighted the immense opportunity of Africa’s young people alongside the realization of an ever-changing job market with the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The Forum generated intense discussions around changing curricula to deliver relevant skills, developing a highly trained teacher workforce, ensuring access to secondary education for all young people regardless of circumstance, and how to finance necessary reform or transformation of current education systems.