20.11.2013 - UNESCO Office in Dakar

New paper: From Aid Dependency towards Resource Blessing in Education

Support to education in poor countries should not be reduced, but resource-rich countries can increase the share given to education from their own resources. This is the conclusion of a paper presented by UNESCO at the recent special session of the Forum of African Parliamentarians for Education (FAPED) on 25 October 2013 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

In fact, in some sub-Saharan African countries with high natural resource revenues, aid dependency is already declining. There are 10 countries in this group, including the major oil exporters. Angola has reduced dependence on aid from around 4 per cent to less than 1 per cent – around the same level as Nigeria, according to the paper.

The Global Monitoring Report on Education for All has analyzed potential income streams from oil, gas and other minerals in 17 countries worldwide and estimated that these countries could mobilize an additional US$5 billion annually.

This amount is the equivalent of two and-a-half times what these countries receive in aid. If the additional revenue from natural resources could be effectively allocated, 13 of the SSA countries could provide almost 10 million of the region’s out-of school children with an education.

For example, countries, such as Angola, Congo, Cameroon, Ghana, Guinea, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia, could eliminate out-of-school children by using their natural resource revenue.

The role of parliamentarians in education

The one day FAPED meeting was organized by the Education Commission of the Pan African Parliament. It brought together over 200 members of Parliament as well as the Commissioner of the Department of Human Resources, Science and Technolog (HRST) of the African Union, the head of education at NEPAD, representatives of civil society, the UNESCO Chair of the Pretoria University on Education Law as well as representatives from the French Embassy and the European Union delegation. UNESCO was represented by the Director of Education for All Global Coordination Team, the Director of UNESCO’s Regional Office in Dakar, Senegal and the Regional Coordinator for Education.

The meeting was divided into two parts: the first part looked into issues such as UNESCO’s work in Education for All in Africa, the Post-2015 debate, the financing of education and the role of parliamentarians in the attainment of EFA. The second part of the day was focused on setting up a FAPED bureau within the Pan African Parliament, which was opened to members of the Education Commission and other parliamentarians interested in education.

The meeting recommended the organization of an annual meeting of FAPED hosted by PAP with the support of UNESCO. It also called for the support for capacity-building of members of PAP to assist with oversight functions on education goals at country level.

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