Spotlight on the ADEA 2017 Triennale and its key takeaways on education and training in Africa

ADEA2017Triennale - Group Photo
Group Photo: ADEA 2017 Triennale

Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, 5th May 2017 – The flagship event of the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA), the 2017 Triennale on education and training in Africa, finally took place from 14th to 17th  March 2017 at the Abdou Diouf International Conference Center (CICAD) in Diamniadio  (Dakar, Senegal) under the high patronage of His Excellency Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal and Lead Champion for the Committee of Ten Champion African Heads of State on Education, Science and Technology.

The ADEA 2017 Triennale, one of the most important global events on education and training in Africa ended on March 17th with a major commitment by African Ministers, key development cooperation partners and stakeholders to revitalize and transform education systems on the continent, supported by a sustainable funding mechanism such as an African Education Fund, in order to achieve structural transformation, inclusive growth and sustainable development.

At the conclusion of the highly successful ADEA 2017 Triennale, held under the main theme of “Revitalizing education towards the 2030 Global Agenda and Africa’s Agenda 2063”, African governments:

  • Reaffirmed their commitment to the revitalization and transformation of education systems on the continent;
  • Committed to promote and implement appropriate and coherent policy responses and practices in order to equip African youth with the knowledge and skills to meet challenges of the 21st century and facilitate their integration into the world of work and entrepreneurship; to prepare them to become true citizens not only of Africa but also of the world; and create decent employment to preserve social cohesion and eliminate radicalization in order to ensure the realization of our national, regional and continental visions;
  • Committed to prioritise early learning by expanding access to quality early learning opportunities, especially for children at risk and under-achieving communities, and by promoting increased financial investments in quality early learning and nutrition programmes;
  • Agreed to support and collaborate with the socio-economic community, development cooperation partners, the African Diaspora and other education stakeholders to implement the recommendations adopted at the Triennale, and in particular to share best practices and successful programs in African countries for the transformation and development of education.
  • Committed to consult with their respective countries on the initiative of the African Education Fund (AEF) which will represent a continental, sustainable funding mechanism for providing a solid financial resource base to support the implementation of comprehensive, inclusive, equitable and quality education programs and projects that resonate with Africa’s Agenda 2063 and the Continental Education Strategy for Africa 2016-2025 (CESA 16-25); a funding mechanism that is responsive to varying African educational needs and priorities, financed by African governments, partners and education stakeholders, and managed by an African organization.  

ADEA’s flagship event was officially opened by His Excellency Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal and Lead Champion for the Committee of Ten Champion African Heads of State on Education, Science and Technology at the Abdou Diouf International Conference Center (CICAD) in Diamniadio, on Thursday 16th March 2017. 

In his opening speech, President Sall acknowledged ADEA, his Ministers and all the partners who made this global event possible, especially due to the short time after the change of venue from Morocco. He also congratulated ADEA and urged the Association to keep fighting for the noble cause of revolutionalising Africa’s education with active support of ADEA’s host institution, the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) and key partners and stakeholders. The President concluded his intervention quoting Nelson Mandela: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”.

During the opening ceremony, President Macky Sall received the “Life Patron for Education, Science and Technology Prize” from ADEA, in recognition of his outstanding leadership and distinguished devotion to foster education and training in Africa. Dr. Akinwumi Ayodeji Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) handed the plague to President Macky Sall, in the presence of Ms. Oley Dibba-Wadda, ADEA’s Executive Secretary.

In their respective interventions, Dr. Peter Materu, Chairperson of the ADEA Executive Committee; Dr. Adesina, AfDB President; H.E. Omar Azziman, special envoy of His Majesty Mohammed VI the King of Morocco; H.E. Badara Joof, special envoy of the President of The Gambia, H.E. Adama Barrow; H.E. Tarek Galal Shawki Ahmed, the Minister of Education and special envoy of the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, H.E. Abdel Fattah al-Sissi; and H.E. Mpinda Simao, Minister of Education of Angola reaffirmed their commitment to transform African education and training systems as stated in the aspirations of Africa’s Agenda 2063.

President Adesina’s keynote address highlighted the importance of investing in youth – a great component of AfDB’s High 5 strategy – stating:  “Let’s create a generation of well educated, efficient, skilled and productive workers…Let’s make Africa the workshop of the world”.
In her speech, ADEA’s Executive Secretary, Ms. Oley Dibba-Wadda affirmed: "African Education must support Science, Technology and Innovation. Education is the key to unlock a bright future for all African peoples and, to this end, the setting up of an African Education Fund can really unleash the full potential of the continent".

The event –streamed live via different online platforms, attracted a large audience that keenly followed prominent actors from a diverse field committing to play different but key roles in the reform agenda of the continent’s education. Among them, Mr. Ibrahim Ceesay, African youth representative, called on African governments to establish “an African Youth Development Fund and accelerate youth empowerment and development in Africa to curb youth extremism and armed conflicts, also mainstreaming peace education into the education curricula”.

The ADEA 2017 Triennale attracted around 1,250 participants (including 650 from Senegal) coming from all over the world (i.e.  cabinet ministers, government delegations, development cooperation partners, private sector, Non-Governmental Organizations, intergovernmental institutions,  foundations, civil society and youth organizations, the diaspora, academia, media and other prominent stakeholders in education, science and technology). As concerns the African continent, twenty-four Ministers of Education and twenty-eight country delegations (i.e. Angola, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, The Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Morocco, Mauritius, Mauritania, Mozambique, Republic of Congo, Niger, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Zambia and Zimbabwe) were in attendance. In addition, the thirty booths installed at the Abdou Diouf International Conference Center helped showcase innovative initiatives and projects on education, as part of the “Triennale Innovation and Knowledge Fair”. Lastly, the beautiful “Reading Tent” mounted at the Center’s entrance helped to promote reading literacy among adults and children.

The 2017 Triennale on Education and Training in Africa was co-organized by ADEA and the Government of the Republic of Senegal. Key sponsor  partners of this flagship event were: Africa 2.0, the African Development Bank Group (AfDB), the African Union (AU), Aide et Action, the Conference of Ministers of Youth and Sport of French-Speaking Countries (CONFEJES), the Conference of Ministers of Education of French-Speaking Countries (CONFEMEN), Didier Drogba Foundation, the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), Intel, the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), the MasterCard Foundation, Microsoft, Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF), Qelasy, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and UNICEF.

-    ADEA 2017 Triennale’s portal: 
-    Photos: 
-    Videos: 
-    Documents: 

Media Relations and Communications contact:
Mr. Stefano De Cupis, Senior Communications Officer, ADEA, T. +225 2026 4261,

External Relations and Partnerships contact:
Ms. Ramata Almamy Mbaye, Senior External Relations and Strategic Partnerships Officer, ADEA, 
T. +225 2026 5559, 


About ADEA:
The Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) is a forum for policy dialogue, composed of all the 54 Ministers of Education in Africa. Established in 1988 at the instigation of the World Bank Group, it has evolved into a pan-African institution based within the African Development Bank Group (AfDB). Since its inception, it has acted on processes that have had a profound impact on policy-making in Africa through evidence-based policy dialogue, capacity building, advocacy and networking. ADEA’s work has expanded to focus more on the development of skills and competencies across all the education sub-sectors. It envisions a “high quality African education and training system that is geared towards the promotion of critical knowledge and skills for accelerated and sustainable development in Africa”.