The 2019 Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank Group will be held from 11-14 June 2019, in Malabo, Republic of Equatorial Guinea. Find out more
|Organiser:||Jointly Organized by the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the World Bank (WB), with the support of the donor partners of the Education for All Fast Track Initiative (EFA FTI)|
This conference will engage African ministers of finance and of education in a dialogue, among themselves and with their external partners, on options to sustain—in the current context of a global economic slowdown—Africa’s achievements in education and economic development over the past decade. Ministers from about 30 countries from Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) will be invited, among them all those that have received or are expecting to receive support from the Fast Track Initiative’s Catalytic Fund, and all the six most populous African countries, i.e., Nigeria, Ethiopia, Egypt, DRC, South Africa and Sudan. The invitees will also include the countries’ development partners, the African Union and other key regional governmental and non-governmental organizations.
Rationale and Objectives
Most African countries and their external partners can take pride today in the unmistakable progress towards the Education for All (EFA) goals for 2015 that were agreed at the Dakar 2000 World Education Forum. The increase in access to primary education has been particularly remarkable. The increase stems largely from a combination of courageous education reforms, substantially increased public financing of education (as reflected by a rise in the share of GDP allocated to education)—which was made possible by a resumption of economic growth and increased political priority for education—and greater flows of external aid for education.
Yet, the momentum of educational and economic progress may be jeopardized by the current worldwide economic downturn. Tightening domestic budgets and external aid could make it more difficult to sustain policy reform and to facilitate strategic investments in the education sector. The impact may well reverse the hard won gains of the last ten years and frustrate attainment of the EFA goals and those of the African Union’s Second Decade for Education in Africa. More worrisome is that these setbacks could undermine the nascent effort underway in many African countries to align the expansion of secondary and tertiary education more closely with the needs of the economy and to equip the workforce with the skills, particularly in science, technology and innovation, to help businesses compete successfully in the global economy and sustain overall economic growth in the coming years.
Today, SSA countries face a very different set of economic and education challenges than those in the period following the 2000 World Education Forum. The dramatically changed circumstances created by the global economic slowdown are therefore the main rationale for the conference. The meeting will bring together senior policy makers from both ministries of finance and of education and representatives of development agencies to explore the nature of the new challenges and their implications for policies to:
On this background, the overarching objective of the conference is to develop a greater understanding of why ministers of finance and of education must exercise joint political leadership to foster a dynamic alignment between the education sector and national goals for social and economic progress and how they can do it. To this end, the conference will focus on:
The Conference is expected to increase understanding and consensus among key stakeholders on: