E-9 Initiative

Pupil of a primary school class in Pakistan

© UNESCO/A. Soomro

Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria and Pakistan are the nine most highly-populated countries of the South. They represent more than 60 per cent of the world’s population, over two-thirds of the world’s illiterate adults and over half of the world’s out-of-school children. Their education systems thus face similar challenges. 

The E-9 Initiative is a forum for these nine high-population countries to discuss their experiences in education, exchange best practices and monitor progress on achieving Education for All (EFA). Since its launch in 1993, the E-9 network has also become a powerful lobby for EFA and South-South cooperation.

During the biennial E-9 Ministerial Review Meetings and expert meetings, country representatives focus on a specific theme for a two-year period, discuss measures to strengthen cooperation between E-9 countries on EFA, and explore ways that E-9 countries can support other countries of the South.

UNESCO’s EFA team and the rotating E-9 Secretariat facilitate and coordinate the work of the E-9 network. In addition, the countries each have a designated E-9 focal point to facilitate liaison and organization of meetings.

Government of India E-9 webpage

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