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UNICEF and Confederation of African Football unite to promote quality education for all children

© Joudy/UNICEF Egypt 2008
Mohamed Aboutreika from the Egyptian national team and star of Al-Ahly Club holding UNICEF football

21 January 2008, Cairo: UNICEF and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) have united in a joint campaign to harness the power of football during the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations- Africa’s biggest international football competition. The campaign seeks to promote quality education for all of Africa’s children and will be featured during the tournament in Ghana on billboards and in televised coverage of matches.

Famous football players from various African countries taking part in the tournament – including Stephen Appiah from Ghana and Samuel Eto’o from Cameroon have joined the campaign through appearing in a series of public service announcements, helping to disseminate across Africa the message that quality education helps children, especially girls, to stay in school and gain the knowledge and confidence that they need to pursue their dreams.
Mohamed Aboutreika from the Egyptian national team and star of Al-Ahly Club also joined the campaign by appearing in the Egyptian version spot. “I am happy to send out a message on the importance of providing quality education for children, as I believe that a player has a mission outside of his playground, which is to contribute to promoting good qualities in society and fixing the negative ideas” said Aboutreika. “I excelled as a student from primary school up to secondary school, and although I became occupied with football, I made the effort to complete my university education. I am now very much focused on the education of my children” added Aboutreika.
During the high-profile games, UNICEF and CAF will promote the achievement of two education-related Millennium Development Goals – achieving universal primary school education (MDG 2) and promoting gender equality and empowering women (MDG 3).
Significant progress has been made in education in Egypt, with a high primary school enrolment rate, however challenges remain such as the lack of teaching tools, extracurricular and recreational facilities, appropriate and functioning water supply and sanitation facilities.

“Since Egypt has witnessed substantive advancement in enrolment, the focus of the UNICEF/Government of Egypt partnership has increasingly moved towards improving educational quality, increasing school retention and completion rates, reducing the gender and geographical disparity, improving school environment and children's developmental readiness to start primary school on time, especially marginalized children.“ said Dr. Erma Manoncourt, Representative of UNICEF Egypt.

The Government of Egypt’s commitment to education is strong, and most recently the Ministry of Education has developed a national strategic plan which addresses several issues such as improving the quality of learning environment, setting standards that equip schools with the appropriate facilities, and introducing models that make schools free from violence.

The Government of Egypt and NGOs, supported by UNICEF, are running 227 Community Schools in Upper Egypt which apply active learning techniques and promote community participation. In order to enhance the quality of teaching and learning processes, UNICEF is assisting the Ministry to apply the active learning methods used in Community Schools in the formal education system as well. UNICEF also provides technical and financial support to the Girl’s Education Initiative aiming to tackle the gender gap in education. The National Council for Childhood and Motherhood is leading the initiative which has to date established 760 schools reaching more than twenty thousand children in remote areas. Much of the focus of UNICEF now is also given to supporting efforts to increase the enrolment rate of children to pre-schools (kindergartens).


For more information about the UNICEF-CAF partnership visit:

Copies of the PSA and Still Photos of Player Mohamed Aboutreika are available upon request.

The PSA can be viewed at the following link:

UNICEF is on the ground in 155 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

For more information, please contact:
Iman Morooka, UNICEF Egypt Media
Email:, telephone:  2526-5083 through 5087 (ext 206)/
 + 2 0102261069

Weaam Elleithy, UNICEF Egypt Media
Email:, telephone: 2526-5083 through 5087 (ext 208)



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