AUC brings together partners around its new vision for education in Africa

ADEA attended a Meeting of Partners in Education Development in Africa organized by the African Union Commission (AUC) for Human Resources in Science and Technology (HRST). The meeting was held at the African Union’s headquarters in Addis Ababa on January 15, 2014.
The AUC is defining a vision for educational development in Africa which starts with the mapping of all the actors and players in this sector. It considers this as most important at a time when the post-2015 agenda is being drawn up at the international level and there is concern that Africa’s priorities as defined by its leadership might not be taken into account.
The meeting brought together the key players contributing to the development of education in Africa: ADEA, the African Development Bank (AfDB), Organisation internationale de la francophonie (OIF), Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA),  United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization  (UNESCO), United Nations Economic Commission of Africa (UNECA),  United Nations Children’s Funds (UNICEF), and participants representing France, Germany (BMZ/GIZ), India, Russia,  and USAID.
The AUC Commissioner made a presentation entitled “Education in Africa: Working towards a Common Goal”. The presentation laid out AUC’s new vision which focuses on the role of education in addressing key economic and social challenges. The Commissioner referred to the AU’s 2014-2017 Strategic Plan which makes a strong case for education’s role in development. The AU’s Plan has eight priority areas:
1.    Human capacity development focusing on health, education, science, research, technology and innovation;
2.    Agriculture and agro processing;
3.     Inclusive economic development through industrialization, infrastructure development, agriculture and trade and investment;
4.    Peace, stability and good governance;
5.    Mainstreaming women and youth into all our activities;
6.    Resource mobilization;
7.    Building a people-centered Union through active communication and branding; and
8.    Strengthening the institutional capacity of the Union and all its organs.
2014 has been declared the year of Agriculture Development and education and training are to play an important role in fostering this strategic sector.
The Commissioner’s presentation was followed by one on “Building Strategic Partnerships for Education development in Africa”. It reviewed the partnership framework used for the implementation of the Action Plan of the 2nd Decade and proposed new approaches and processes for achieving effective collaboration among key actors and players in terms of both expertise and financial resources. The AUC also provided a summary of the key findings of the mid-term evaluation of 2nd Decade of Africa and its implications for the post-2015 Agenda.
All the partners’ present made presentations on their work, including in relation with the AUC’s 2nd Decade of education and other relevant African initiatives.
ADEA made a presentation focusing on the work carried out for the 2012 Triennale on “Promoting critical knowledge, skills and qualifications for Africa’s sustainable development”, which is being followed up and the policy framework for implementing the recommendations of the Triennale, which was endorsed by the AU Heads of State in January 2013.
During the closing of the meeting, the Commissioner provided a roadmap with a list of activities for the follow-up to the meeting, which include:
1.    Establishing a Biennale for partners in education during COMEDAF meetings. Starting with meeting of partners at the next COMEDAF meeting in Cameroon in April 2014.
2.    Publishing of a State of Education in Africa Report annually. This will provide information on thematic issues, indicators on educational development in each African country and key agencies’ contributions and scope of work in Africa.
3.    Defining key strategic trades/jobs for TVSD in Africa to serve industrial development in Africa.
The AUC expressed that it will be counting on the support of ADEA for the implementation of the roadmap.