AFDB: African Education Fund Will Boost Innovation, Economic Transformation

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The African Development Bank is keeping higher education, science and technology at the top of its development agenda as it backs a proposed Africa Education Fund (AEF) which seeks to provide strategic support for more efficient and effective education systems across Africa.

The Bank reiterated its commitment to “bridging the current education funding gap and providing quality education in Africa” during a Science and Technology Summit of Heads of State, held in Malawi in November 2018.

Bank representatives to the high –level meeting shared positive findings of a feasibility study into the Fund undertaken with the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA), during the First Extra-Ordinary Summit of the Committee of Ten (C10) Heads of State and Government Championing Education, Science and Technology, which took place on the 2nd and 3rd of November 2018.

The Africa Education Fund (AEF) is a unique, Africa-initiated education fund with innovative financing. Its main purpose is to provide strategic support towards the development of more efficient and effective education systems across Africa.

During the summit, crucial discussions ensued under the theme of “Strengthening Education, Science and Technology in Africa”. The two-day meeting focused on the critical role education plays in equipping the African youth with the right knowledge and skills to actively contribute to Africa’s economic transformation.

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A declaration adopted by Committee at the end of the meeting stated their commitment to “increase investments in Education, Science and Technology in Africa and support the operationalization of an Education Fund and Science Technology and Innovation Fund.”

Hendrina Doroba, Manager of the Education & Skills Development Division at the Bank said that “increased investment in education, science, technology and innovation must be at the core of the African Agenda for transforming Africa’s education and training systems to unleash the full human potential of the continent.”

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“The AEF is, therefore, a crucial step towards bridging the current education funding gap and providing quality education in Africa,” Doroba said.

Earlier in his keynote speech, the President of Malawi, Peter Mutharika, emphasized the need for Africa to promote lifelong learning opportunities in the continent in science, technology and innovation in support of Agenda 2063.

“We have a common path to our destiny because we share a common past. We share common challenges. And we share a common goal. Our mission is to ensure that Africa has the right education for African progress. Our goal is to ensure that our education is inclusive, equitable, and of desirable quality,” President Mutharika said.

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Education is crucial to ensuring that the knowledge and skills provided to African youth translate to quality and sustainable employment and should contribute to Africa’s economic transformation.

The results of the feasibility study showed strong support from potential stakeholders and beneficiaries.

The Africa Education Fund (AEF) is a unique, Africa-initiated education fund with innovative financing. Its main purpose is to provide strategic support towards the development of more efficient and effective education systems across Africa.

The C10 Summit declaration on Education, Science and Technology also agreed to support the operationalization of a Science, Technology and Innovation Fund”. These recommendations will be presented to the upcoming African Union Assembly early next year.

The Committee of Ten was established in July 2015 during the 25th African Union Assembly in South Africa, to champion the implementation of the Education, Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa.

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