The African Development Bank (ADB), the Association for the Development of Education in Africa and the African Union are recommending the establishment of the African Education Fund to address the challenges of education and skills development in Africa.
A joint declaration in support of the African Education Fund was produced after a workshop organised in Abidjan.
“The African Education Fund is a vision many education stakeholders in Africa have had but could not put into practice. It is no longer just a vision – it is a reality,” Oley Dibba Wadda, the Bank’s Director of human capital, youth and skills development, told more than 50 attendees representing 12 African governments, 4 regional economic communities and other development partners specialising in finance, skills development, and education.
Workshop organisers sought inputs from regional member countries on the structure of the African Education Fund and highlighted the need to strengthen its position as a ‘go to’ resource for financing education across the continent.
“The AEF is a unique, Africa-initiated and continental mechanism for resourcing post-secondary education in Africa” said Albert Nsengiyumva, Executive Secretary of the Association for the Development of Education in Africa.
Beatrice Njenga, Head of the Education Division at the African Union Commission, reminded workshop participants that the Fund was not intended to be a substitute for existing funding mechanisms. “The African Education Fund complements these mechanisms at national and international levels”.
Côte d‘Ivoire’s Minister of education and technical, vocational education and training, Kandia Camara, opened the workshop, emphasizing the need for countries to be accountable and to take ownership of Africa’s education and training. Camara also encouraged participants to pay special attention to supporting girls and people with disabilities in the structure of the fund.
The two-day series of presentations, discussions and group sessions explored strategies for financing projects intended to contribute to human capital and skills development across Africa under the banner of the African Education Fund.