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Somalia, 9 June 2016: African educationalists agree education is key to tackling conflict

© UNICEF Somalia/2015/Yoshimoto
Somali children participate enthusiastically in class - experts believe education can hold the key to peace

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, 9 June 2016 – Ensuring equitable access to education is key in addressing the root causes of conflict and instability in Africa. This was agreed by those attending a three day Pan-African Symposium on Education, Resilience and Social Cohesion, at the UN Conference Centre in Addis Ababa.

The meeting heard about best practices from UNICEF’s Peacebuilding, Education and Advocacy Programme (PBEA) in Somalia from the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Government’s Ministry of Education and the Somaliland Deputy Minister of Education. Participants discussed how access to socially inclusive, equitable and innovative education policy and programmes can contribute to sustainable peace and development across the continent. Ministers and government officials from across Africa shared their experiences.

UNICEF’s PBEA programme, funded by the Dutch government, started in 2012 covering 14 implementing countries (10 from Africa). The programme used education as an entry point to strengthen resilience, social cohesion and human security in fragile and high risk environments. In Somalia, 6 out of 10 children do not have access to education, and only 36 per cent of those attending school are girls. Investment in education there needs to grow to meet the needs of increasing young populations and reach the Sustainable Development Goals related to education, equity, gender and peace and security. This will involve Government authorities, education officials, school boards, parents and communities.









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