ADEA 2011 Triennial in Burkina Faso: "An Opportunity to Take a Critical Look at Education and Training"
"The turmoil currently afflicting African countries, and the confusion among the young generation with no prospects for the future, requires us to take a more critical look at our strategic development policies as well as at our education and training systems ".
The Executive Secretary of the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA), Byll-Cataria Ahlin, made this statement on 17 February 2011, in Ouagadougou, while launching preparations for the Association’s 2011 Triennial in Burkina Faso. Burkina Faso’s Prime Minister, Tertius Zongo, officially opened the Triennial. Over 300 representatives from key national development sectors, civil society and officials of the educational world attended the launching ceremony. The participants agreed that "The launching achieved its objectives, with regard to the mobilization and involvement of national development stakeholders in the preparation of the 2011 Triennial.”
It will be recalled that ADEA 2011 Triennial will be held in Burkina Faso, from 27 November to 2 December 2011, on the theme: "Promoting knowledge, competences and critical skills for sustainable development in Africa: How to design and build an effective and responsive education and training systems? "
The official launch of the 2011 ADEA Triennial "is crucial and symbolic”, for both the Association and the country. It was designed as a platform to generate ideas and exchange views on the theme of the Triennial, and on human resource development in this country, in line with its Accelerated Growth and Sustainable Development Strategy (SCADDER). The ceremony was also, and above all, an opportunity to keep Burkina Faso’s development stakeholders informed on the Triennial, and to enable them take ownership of the Triennial. Burkinabe authorities were given the opportunity to take a fresh perspective on this new national development strategy, said Byll-Cataria, when he welcomed the Prime Minister. "Your presence here demonstrates the importance that Burkina Faso authorities have always given to education and training in development," he added.
The ADEA Executive Secretary also reviewed issues related to the acceleration of educational development in Africa (read more at www.adeanet.org). Essentially, he recalled the international community’s revived interest in the continent. This growing interest, said Byll-Cataria, is due to sustained economic growth in many countries, importance of natural resources, as well as the youthful population. However, he felt that, "The turmoil currently afflicting African countries, and the among of a young generation with no prospects for future requires us to take a more critical look at our strategic development policies as well as at our education and training systems". He also noted that "although our policies deliver a great number of graduates, they often lose sight of social and professional integration, entrepreneurship and employability issues."
The ADEA Executive Secretary stated that the choice of Burkina Faso to host the 2011 Triennial "was not a matter of chance." For decades, this country has conducted innovative experiments in education, bilingual schools, training and development, among others.. "The theme of 2011 Triennial gives us an opportunity to take this critical look and to place education and training at the center of a comprehensive sustainable development taking into account the economic, social, cultural and spiritual dimensions," he said. He stressed "the role that AfDB should continue to play in this policy dialogue." "No other institution in Africa invests as much resources in education as the African Development Bank," he concluded.
The AfDB has been hosting ADEA since August 2008. The last Triennial was held in Maputo in 2008, with post-primary education as theme.