ADEA, AfDB and AU put the African Education Fund on the front burner

Group photo with all the participants, taken during the consultative workshop on the African Education Fund (AEF) on 16th – 17th July 2019 at CCIA Building, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire | Photo credit: ADEA

Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, 25 July, 2019 – The African Development Bank (AfDB), the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) and the African Union (AU) are recommending the establishment of the African Education Fund (AEF) as the unique African mechanism to address the challenges of education and skills development in Africa. A joint declaration in support of the African Education Fund was produced after a workshop organised in Abidjan 16 -17 July, 2019 

“The African Education Fund is a vision many education stakeholders in Africa have had but could not put into practice. It is no longer just a vision – it is a reality,” Oley Dibba Wadda, the Bank’s Director of human capital, youth and skills development, told more than 50 attendees representing 12 African governments, 4 regional economic communities and other development partners specialising in finance, skills development, and education. 

Workshop organisers sought inputs from regional member countries on the structure of the African Education Fund and highlighted the need to strengthen its position as a ‘go to’ resource for financing education across the continent.

“The AEF is a unique, Africa-initiated and continental mechanism for resourcing post-secondary education in Africa. Africa now has a major opportunity to take the lead through the AEF initiative,” said Albert Nsengiyumva, Executive Secretary of the Association for the Development of Education in Africa. 

Beatrice Njenga, Head of the Education Division at the African Union Commission, reminded workshop participants thatthe Fund was not intended to be a substitute for existing funding mechanisms. “The African Education Fund complements these mechanisms at national and international levels”.

Côte d‘Ivoire’s Minister of education and technical, vocational education and training, Kandia K. Camara, opened the workshop, emphasising the need for countries to be accountable and to take ownership of Africa’s education and training. Camara also encouraged participants to pay special attention to supporting girls and people with disabilities in the structure of the fund.

The two-day series of presentations, discussions and group sessions explored strategies for financing projects intended to contribute to human capital and skills development across Africa under the banner of the African Education Fund.

For more information, please contact:

  • Chawki Chahed, Chief Communications Officer, African Development Bank, email:
  • Stefano De Cupis, Senior Communication Officer, ADEA,

About AEF 

The African Education Fund (AEF) is a proposal by the African Development Bank, the Association for the Development of Education in Africa, and the African Union for a unique, Africa-initiated, continental education fund designed, owned, led and managed by Africans to support tertiary, technology, technical and science education in Africa. When operational, the AEF will make available $300 million to finance and scale up to $1 billion over 10 years to technical vocational education and training, and science technology, engineering and mathematics in Africa. 

About ADEA

The Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) is a forum for policy dialogue. It is a partnership bringing together African policymakers in charge of education, science and technology; development partners; researchers and education technical experts. ADEA contributes to the empowerment of African countries to develop quality education and training systems that respond to the countries' emergent needs and drive sustainable social and economic transformation.

About AfDB

The African Development Bank Group is Africa’s premier development finance institution. It comprises three distinct entities: the African Development Bank, the African Development Fund and the Nigeria Trust Fund. The Bank has offices in 37 African countries, with an external office in Japan, and contributes to the economic development and the social progress of its 54 regional member countries.

About the African Union 

The African Union (AU) is a continental body consisting of the 55 member states that make up the countries of the African Continent. It was officially launched in 2002 as a successor to the Organization of African Unity (OAU, 1963-1999).