Our Common Voice, Our Common Success: ADEA launches new Strategic Plan and Inter-Country Quality Node on Higher Education and Scientific Research in Senegal

The Minister for Higher Education, Research and Innovation of Senegal and Chair of the Steering Committee of the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA), Hon. Prof. Mary Teuw Niane successfully launched ADEA’s new Strategic Plan (2018-2022) and the Senegal-led Inter-Country Quality Node on Higher Education and Scientific Research. Copyright: ADEA

On Friday 5 October 2018, the Minister for Higher Education, Research and Innovation of Senegal and Chair of the Steering Committee of the  Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA), Hon. Prof. Mary Teuw Niane successfully launched ADEA’s new Strategic Plan (2018-2022) and the Senegal-led Inter-Country Quality Node on Higher Education and Scientific Research (ICQN-HESR). H.E. Prof Sarah Anyang Agbor, the African Union Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology (AUC-HRST) graced the highly attended ceremony together with Dr. Edgar Moyo, the Deputy Minister for Primary and Secondary Education of Zimbabwe and Mr. Adama Jimba Jobe, Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Basic Education of The Gambia. This key event took place on the margins of the African Union’s Innovating Education in Africa (IEA) Expo from 4th to 6th October 2018 at the Abdou Diouf International Conference Center (CICAD) in Diamniadio (Senegal). 

The cocktail event – facilitated by Mr. Shem Bodo, ADEA’s Acting Executive Secretary and Ms. Raky Gassama, the Knowledge Management Officer – saw the participation of more than 130 representatives from African governments, representatives from the diplomatic missions in Senegal, development cooperation agencies, innovators, civil society and youth organizations, private sector, and the media. Ms. Ivy Mwai, Senior Program Manager with the MasterCard Foundation (MCF) also presented an overview of the study on Secondary Education in Africa (SEA) initiative, to which ADEA has contributed in terms of engagement with the African youth and policymakers. 

Starting with the launch of the new Strategic Plan, Mr. Bodo retraced the genesis of ADEA’s coming into existence, relocation to Africa and its vision, mission and continued relevance to the transformation of Africa’s education and training landscape. He further illustrated the Strategic Plan’s current strategic direction in terms of two core strategic pillars: the Continental Education Platform and the Advisory and Execution Support Services, noting that the African Union’s Continental Education Strategy for Africa 2016-2025 (CESA 16-25) anchors the two pillars. To this end, Mr. Bodo said: “ADEA will contribute to empowering African countries to develop education and training systems that respond to their emergent needs and drive Africa’s sustainable socioeconomic transformation, driven by these two continental and country-based strategic pillars aligned to CESA 16-25 and the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4.”

The Continental Education Platform embraces three strategic initiatives (i.e. Strengthened ICQN Network, Knowledge Hub, and High-Level Stakeholder Forums) while the Advisory and Execution Support Services entails five initiatives (i.e. Data Collection and Diagnostic Tools, Evidence Based Policy Development, Delivery and Resource Mobilization, Leadership and Management, and Monitoring Policy Reform).

Moving to the launch of the new ADEA’s Inter Country Quality Node on Higher Education and Scientific Research (ICQN-HESR), the overall objective of the ICQN is to assist the Ministers of Higher education and /or Research to take the initiative in formulating and implementing policies and strategies for effective higher education and research in Africa. The ICQN will focus on the professional development of teachers, the success of students and the establishment of a conducive environment for quality research and innovation development.

Officially launching the ICQN, Prof. Mary Teuw Nianne noted with gratification ADEA's decision to Senegal's quest to set up an ICQN on Higher Education and Scientific Research. He expressed the strong desire of President Macky Sall and Prime Minister Mahammed Dionne to "make higher education and research a lever for economic, social and cultural development of Senegal". He noted that although innovations emanating from Africa are important as they start to produce results, their effectiveness can be increased tenfold if they are pooled across the continent. It is this belief and the conviction that "quality must underpin our reforms and innovations despite the difficulties inherent in the functioning of higher education, research and innovation systems" that explains Senegal's interest in supporting ADEA to champion and lead the new ICQN. Hosted by a country whose commitment to the development of education in Africa is recognized, the new ICQN will create synergies between different countries. Such a platform will also enable the creation of a learning environment for the systematic identification, documentation, analysis, dissemination and sharing of lessons that African countries learn from the process of implementing the lessons learned. Prof Mary Teuw Nianne noted that ADEA helps to bring coherence to ongoing reforms in African countries' different education, training and research systems, giving prominence to training, research and innovation in all national and regional approaches.

The chairperson of the ADEA Steering Committee, Minister Mary Teuw Niane stated, “This ICQN will be an inter-governmental forum for policy dialogue and collaborative action between African Ministers of Higher Education and Research and strategic partners to advance higher education and quality research in their countries and in Africa in general.” The government of Senegal during the launch ceremony further expressed its interest in and commitment to promote and lead the ICQN. Prof. Sarah Anyang Agbor and Prof. Mary Teuw Niane jointly stressed the importance of having such an ICQN as well as the objectives set in the ADEA Strategic Plan 2018-2022. “Implementing is the key for the success of Africa”, they unanimously reiterated.  Prof. Agbor appreciated ADEA’s decision to align the Strategic Plan to CESA 16-25, noting that this entrenches ADEA’s position as a technical agency of the AU Commission.

Ms. Ivy Mwai’s accurate presentation on the SEA initiative and its early results concluded the ADEA event. A short video produced and aired by ADEA before the official closing highlighted some youth opinions on this fundamental initiative.

Back to the Innovating Education in Africa Expo, the African Union Commission together with the Government of the Republic of Senegal and its partners across and beyond Africa (i.e. ADEA, FAWEFord FoundationGIZONEPlan InternationalSave the Children, and USAID)  organized the IEA Expo to showcase technical and social innovations in every area of education and training. The objective of the Expo was to establish a multisector platform for experience sharing on relevant innovations that address education challenges in Africa. The event also aimed at raising the visibility of these innovative practices in order to whip up support and catalyze upscaling and replication.

During the opening ceremony, the Chief Guest who was the Prime Minister of Senegal, Mahammed Boun Abdallah Dionne noted that Senegal playing host to major events such as the Expo, the launch of ADEA Strategic Plan 2018-2022 and the ICQN on Higher Education and Scientific Research, and the ADEA 2017 Triennale, is a mark of trust granted to the country. He indicated his confidence that with the pool of experts from Africa and beyond, the fruits of the Expo will hold the promise of developing the African continent through education, science, technology and innovation.

Several prominent speakers as well as officials and around 450 participants from African ministries of education and training, academia, private sector, development cooperation agencies, innovators, diaspora, civil society and youth organizations took part in the Expo. Prof. Sarah Anyang Agbor, AUC HRST’s Commissioner;Prof. Mary Teuw Niane,Minister for Higher Education, Research and Innovation of Senegal; and Mr. Balagatia Arone, Minister for Basic Education of Botswana accompanied the Prime Minister of Senegal. This is in addition toMrs Mazieki Amara Ali, Minister for Scientific Research and Technological Innovation of the Central African Republic;Dr. Beatrice Njenga,AUC HRST’sHead of Education Division; and Mr. Shem Bodo, ADEA’s Acting Executive Secretary. 

Mr. Jerome Morrissey, CEO of Global e-Schools and Communities Initiative (GeSCI); Dr. Rudo Kayombo, Executive Director of ONE Campaign Africa;Dr. Paschal Anosike, Director for the Centre for African Entrepreneurship and Leadership (CAEL); Dr. Callistus Ogol and Dr Yohannes Woldetensae, AUC’s Senior Education Experts; and Mr. Pape Samb, Executive Director of Ashoka Africa were also in attendance.

ADEA staff contributed to this important Expo at several levels, from main speaker and moderator roles to organizer ones. Mr Bodo, for instance, was one of the main guests of the opening session, and while in the panel discussion on ‘innovating to meet objectives of CESA 16-25 and SDG4’, he took the opportunity to highlight two important ADEA innovations for the education and training sector in Africa: the Knowledge Hub and the Africa Education Fund (AEF). Concerning thepanel session on ‘Technology supported education delivery and management: EMIS and EdTech’, Mr. Simba Dzinoreva, ADEA's Task Force on Education Management and Policy Support (TFEMPS) Program Analyst and one of the main speakers of this challenging panel, presented a mobile phone-based app for monitoring teacher andlearner absenteeism through two case studies in eSwatini and Namibia. As for the parallel session 6 on ‘Enhancing access for women and girls in education’, Ms. Chemwi Mutiwanyuka, ADEA - TFEMPS Program Analyst, successfully presented the ADEA/FAWE Most Significant Change (MSC) story methodology for fostering gender sensitive practices in education and training. In addition, the ADEA’s booth also attracted several participants eager to know more about the Association, its new Strategic Plan, mission, activities and partnerships.

In brief, the IEA Expo saw African innovators sharing great ideason Virtual Reality (VR), coding, interactive voice response, mobile tech on trucks, and so forth. All major partners of the Expocommitted to support, upscale, replicate and raise the visibility of best innovative practices in education and training in Africa. 

Prof. Sarah Anyang Agbor, AUC Commissioner declared: “Commitment and implementation are the keywords here! The light is getting brighter and brighter thanks to this Expo as innovating education is imperative to the implementation of the CESA, TVET strategy for Africa, Agenda 2063 and Agenda 2030.”

Concerning the IEA Award,the USD 100,000 first prize went to Dext Technology from Ghana but all the 50 present innovators received recognition certificates and personal best wishes from key high-level representatives.

Lastly, Prof. Agbor and Prof. Niane reminded participants of the importance at this particular time of the setting up of ADEA’s Africa Education Fund as well as the ICQN-HESR while closing the Expo, and invited everybody to Botswana for the Innovating Education in Africa Expo 2019.


More photos are available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/adea_photo_gallery/albums/72157701267454001

For more information, please contact:

  • Shem Bodo, Acting Executive Secretary, ADEA, T. (+225) 2026 4262, s.bodo@afdb.org
  • Malick Sow, Secretary General, Senegal Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, maliquesow@yahoo.fr


  • Stefano De Cupis, Senior Communications Officer, ADEA, T. (+225) 2026 4261, s.decupis@afdb.org