SDG4-Education 2030 Coordination

Sub-Saharan African countries have, overall, achieved enormous progress towards the six Education for All Goals and the education-related Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) since 2000. However, these goals were still far from being reached by the 2015 deadline. Having examined the remaining challenges, in 2015, the world adopted the more ambitious universal education agenda for 2030 with the vision of transforming lives through education.

Education at the heart of the global development agenda

In 2015, the international community adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDG4, ‘Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’, constitutes the core of a single, renewed education agenda: SDG4-Education 2030. Recognizing the important role of education as a main driver of development, targets for education are also included under several other SDGs; notably on health, growth and employment, sustainable consumption and production, and climate change.

The SDG4-Education 2030 Framework for Action provides guidance on translating the commitments made by the education community into practice at the global, regional and country levels through seven targets and three means of implementation and proposes methods for coordination, financing and monitoring. UNESCO, as the specialized UN agency for education, was entrusted by the education community to continue in its mandated role to lead and coordinate the Education 2030 agenda (Incheon Declaration, World Education Forum, 2015).

African Union’s Education Strategy for 2016-2025

The African Union’s fifty-year transformation plan, Agenda 2063, reflects Africa’s aspirations for Africans themselves, for future generations and for ‘an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena’. It emphasizes the need to reorient education and training systems to develop the necessary human capital for a sustainable development rooted in African values.

Drawing on lessons learned from two decades of education and experiences from other parts of the world, the African Union Commission has developed the comprehensive Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA) 2016-2025 to achieve the ambitions of Agenda 2063. This proposes a holistic vision, integrating all sub-sectors of education and training systems, while defining Africa’s own objectives and adapting and aligning the global sustainable development goals with African’s aspirations.

UNESCO Dakar’s Actions

The Multisectoral Regional Office of UNESCO in Dakar supports SDG4-Education 2030 coordination through two main areas of intervention:

1. Activities supporting a harmonized approach to the integration of SDG4 in national education policies and strategies in sub-Saharan Africa

  • Review and preparation of technical tools and guidelines on the integration of the Education 2030 agenda into national planning processes
  • Periodic consultation with and provision of technical assistance and capacity development for UNESCO regional offices and international partner agencies upon request

2. Building of effective partnerships and synergy in regional coordination for SDG4-Education 2030

  • Development of recommendations for building lifelong learning policies and systems in the framework of research studies and policy briefs on key thematic areas of Education 2030
  • Establishment of a regional coordination mechanism in West and Central Africa: the Regional Coordination Group on SDG4-Education 2030 (RCG4-WCA)
  • Review and monitoring of national education policies: capacity development to monitor SDG4 implementation and organization of Global Education Monitoring Report launches
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