How Education and Training Can Boost Africa’s Sustainable Development

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From: 13/02/2012
To: 17/02/2012
Location: Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

The Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) and the government of Burkina Faso will hold the 2012 Triennale on Education and Training in Africa in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso from February 13-17, 2012. This important, international event will take place at the Ouagadougou 2000 International Conference Centre.

President Blaise Compaoré of Burkina Faso will officially open the event on February 13.

In a bold move to transform education and training systems into powerful levers for yielding the human capital Africa needs for its sustainable development, the 2012 Triennale will bring together a wide range of policy-makers, actors, experts and stakeholders from the education sector as well as from other sectors of development. Participants will share ADEA’s findings on the theme of the 2012 Triennale: “Promoting critical knowledge, skills and qualifications for sustainable development in Africa: how to design and implement an effective response by education and training systems”

Two years ago, this was the vital topic that African ministers of education and training, their external partners in development, and education stakeholders in Africa reckoned to be fundamental in the quest to improve the quality, relevance and efficiency of African education and training systems.

“The challenges raised by the theme are tremendous and the stakes high” says ADEA’s Executive Secretary, Ahlin Byll-Cataria. According to the Executive Secretary, “education is Africa’s road to salvation. It is the foundation for realizing the African Union’s vision of a peaceful, prosperous Africa, driven by its own people to take its rightful place in the global community and the knowledge economy.”

Tasked to provide answers to the question raised by the theme of the Triennale, ADEA carried out research, collated country experiences and organized consultations with key stakeholders, including youth, the private sector and civil society. ADEA also held fora on technical and vocational skills development, peace education and book development and drawn lessons from these for the Triennale.

All this work has been synthesized and will be presented for discussion at the 2012 Triennale.

The preparatory work conducted by ADEA has identified the need to build up a critical mass of human capital that includes: (1) citizens capable of bringing about the social, cultural and political changes required for Africa’s sustainable development; (2) workers with skills that will raise productivity at work and boost economic growth; (3) highly qualified men and women who will generate scientific knowledge and technological innovation and contribute to the development of globally competitive knowledge-based societies.

The results of ADEA’s investigations in these three areas will be brought to the fore for consideration by over 600 expected participants. These will include African heads of state, ministers of education and training and their senior staff, senior officials from ministries of other sectors - including labor, rural development, industry and finance, youth leaders, and representatives of the private sector, civil society and the diaspora. Bilateral and multilateral cooperation and development agencies, and international organizations and non-governmental organizations will also be present in Ouagadougou.

ADEA will also make recommendations on the reforms and paradigm shifts needed in the education sector. By bringing together a wide range of actors and stakeholders in development, ADEA intends to engage policy makers at the highest levels to pave the way for reforms to be carried out, aiming at transforming education and training systems into effective instruments that will yield the human capital Africa needs.

The deliberations of the ADEA Triennale will be preceded by two other ADEA events that will also take place in Ouagadougou, the results of which will be conveyed to the Triennale:

  • On February 11, the Diaspora Day will bring together representatives of the African Diaspora to discuss its contribution to the development of education and training in Africa;
  • On February 12, the Korea-Africa Day will share South Korea’s experience of developing education, training and research to support the country’s vision of development.

The 2012 ADEA Triennale will end on February 17. A final press conference will be organized immediately after the closing session.

About ADEA

ADEA is in existence since 1988. Its members are composed of two main constituencies: Ministries of education and training in Africa and their external cooperation and development partners.  ADEA’s mission is to act as a catalyst to improve the quality, relevance and effectiveness of education to support Africa’s development through the sharing of ideas, experiences, learning and knowledge.

ADEA is hosted at the African Development Bank (AfDB) since 2008. It was previously hosted by  the UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) in Paris. One of the reasons which motivated the Secretariat’s move to Tunis was the decision to be hosted by a Pan-African Development Organization based in Africa. ADEA and the AfDB are developing synergies in the area of education and training, in line with the Bank’s strategic objectives. An example of such collaboration is the upcoming Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation, which will be held in Nairobi in April 2012.