10.02.2012 - UNESCO Office in Dakar

600 participants meet at ADEA Triennale 2012 to advance education in Africa

One of this year's most important education events in Africa opens on Monday 13 February 2012 in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso.

Some 600 people including 60 Ministers and several heads of state have confirmed their participation in the 2012 Trienale organized by the Association for the Development of Education in Africa, one of UNESCO's close partners.

Wide range of stakeholders

The conference brings together a wide range of policy-makers, experts and stakeholders from the education sector as well as from other sectors of development.  

Participants include ministerial staff, youth leaders, and representatives of the private sector, civil society and the diaspora. Bilateral and multilateral development agencies will also be present in Ouagadougou.

Creating powerful levers

Discussions will evolve around how to transform education and training systems into powerful levers for yielding the human capital.

“Education is Africa’s road to salvation," says ADEA’s Executive Secretary, Ahlin Byll-Cataria. "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," he says.

Need to re-conceptualize education

UNESCO is closely involved in the preparations of the Triennale. The Organization will be represented through a strong delegation led by the Director of UNESCO's Regional Office for Education in Africa, Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta.

"Education stakeholders in Africa now realize that it is imperative to improve the quality, relevance and efficiency of African education and training systems," says Ndong Jatta. "We need to re-conceptualize education and its goals in the African context," she adds.

The UNESCO Director gives the example of the millions of young people who are left out of both the school system and the world of work.

"This means that we have millions of creative minds, millions of ideas, so we need to provide opportunities for these young people to explore, innovate, create and contribute to development," Ndong Jatta adds.

Studies to move the debate forward

UNESCO's Regional Office has contributed to the preparatory phase of the encounter, in particular in the areas of early childhood care and education, the  Basic Education in Africa Programme (BEAP) and technical and vocational education and training (TVET).

Several studies have been prepared to inform and move the debate forward during the Triennal, including:

  • a study on school readiness in the Gambia;
  • a document on how to strengthen sub-regional synergies on TVET for youth employment; and
  • a status report on the BEAP, including case studies from three countries (Mali, Rwanda and the Gambia)

Additional events

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

  • 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 17 February.




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