Transforming Education in Africa: Past, present and future
Transforming education requires the mobilization of us all
On 20 September 2022, the African Union, UNICEF, UNESCO, WFP and the European Union and partners held a high-level side event on transforming education in Africa on the margins of the global Transforming Education Summit. The event aimed to provide space for Heads of States, partners and young people to come together to galvanize actions for speed and scale in transforming education systems in Africa. The event has seen the participation of 10 Heads of States and Government in Africa to mobilize political action and commitment of other Member States on education.
School's success requires the mobilization of us all
Africa is a continent undergoing rapid transition. Central to this change are its children and young people. With three out of every five people under the age of 25, Africa has the youngest population of any continent. By the middle of this century, Africa will be home to a billion children and adolescents under 18 years of age – almost 40 per cent of all children and adolescents in the 0-18 age group worldwide. Such a demographic transition presents both immense opportunities and challenges.
National governments in Africa have made substantial progress in getting more children into school in the past decades. And this commitment has been well-reflected in the AU’s Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want. UNICEF has been proudly supporting this work. In 2021, 47% of the total expenditure of UNICEF’s programmes went to Africa.
But we are also living in a time of great challenge, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic which has come at a steep cost in a continent that has been making incredible progress. The power of education can be transformative. However, with the rest of the world, the education of Africa’s children has taken an enormous hit, with the most vulnerable children paying the heaviest price.
Despite governments’ best efforts to respond to the crisis through remote learning policies and programmes, millions of children could not be reached with learning opportunities.
We must tackle the learning crisis through increased investment in foundational learning. If Africa’s children are equipped with solid numeracy and literacy proficiencies, they will be better positioned to obtain higher-level knowledge and skills in the future
This was a moment for partners to amplify key findings of the national consultations under TES in Africa and to present a declaration on priority actions for transforming education in Africa.
Transforming education is everybody’s business. The education sector alone cannot address the magnitude of the challenges. Contributions from other sectors are very much needed
It also provides opportunities for the youth to share their vision and make their voices heard, as they come together and joined forces to transform education in Africa.
Youth are calling on AU Member States to revitalise National efforts and co-create solid continental mechanisms on transforming education