GPE stands ready to support African countries to achieve their education goals

Speaking at the ADEA Triennale in Dakar, GPE CEO Alice Albright highlights the crucial role of African countries to put education first

Children sitting down outside of their school in Burundi. Credit: UNICEF Burundi/Krzysiek

Children sit outside of their school in Burundi. Burundi is one of 38 African partner developing countries.

CREDIT: UNICEF Burundi/Krzysiek

This week, the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) is hosting its Triennale conference in Dakar, Senegal, under the title: “Revitalizing Education towards the 2030 Global Agenda and the 2063 African Agenda.”

The event is the culmination of a comprehensive consultation process that has taken place throughout the African continent, to provide input into the four themes of the conference:

  1. Implementing education and lifelong learning for sustainable development
  2. Promoting science, mathematics, and information and communication technology
  3. Implementing education for African cultural renaissance and pan-African ideals
  4. Building peace and global citizenship through education.

GPE CEO Alice Albright heads a delegation from the GPE Secretariat at the event, and was a keynote speaker at today’s ministerial roundtable on “quality education for all and at all levels”. Below are some excerpts from her speech.

What it will take to achieve SDG 4 and the Africa 2063 vision

“To make the powerful aspirations in the AU 2063 agenda and CESA a reality, it is going to take many things, including forward looking African leadership and unwavering support from the global community; making quality education a national and a continental priority at the level of African Heads of State all the way to the AU Summit; deploying enough finance, both domestic and external, that is consistent and long-term.

It is going to take working with communities and families; investing in infrastructure and capacity; knocking down the barriers that keep the hardest to reach, most marginalized children out of school; understanding the impact of fragility and building resiliency and preparedness; investing in early childhood education; introducing new and innovative ways to help teachers and administrators; and building strong local governance mechanisms including local education groups (LEG) and communities. It will also take promoting natural synergies between better health & nutrition and education to improve livelihoods, especially for girls.”

How GPE helps

“GPE is dedicated to building strong systems, improving equity and quality and mobilizing more and better finance.

GPE helps countries put in place strong education sector plans. Not only because of the analytical, planning and policy work involved. But also, because the plan rallies all players around a common vision. Second, we provide funding of about US$500 million a year to help cover a range of analytical and implementation costs.

GPE’s funding is results-based. To receive the first 70%, countries must have 3 things in place. First, a strong education sector plan. Second, commitments in place around domestic resources being deployed towards education. And third a plan to address data deficits. The other 30% is linked to demonstrated progress in learning, equity and efficiency of the system – based on targets chosen by the country.”

The new GPE financing and funding framework

“The GPE Board has just approved a new funding and financing framework that we believe will give countries even more and better tools. This new framework consists of four primary elements.

  • First, we will continue to offer the same education sector funding I just described, which supports planning and execution.
  • Second, we will support knowledge and innovation activities that allow countries to draw on and share experience.
  • Third, it will support advocacy, accountability and social mobilization support, which allows our partner countries to build political will, politically at the community level.
  • And, fourth, we are creating a leverage fund – a dedicated pool of funding to incentivize countries to crowd in additional funding at least US$3 for every US$1 of GPE grant funding received. We’re very excited about this new framework and look forward to speaking with your ministries of education and finance about how they might put them to use.”

The time of education is now

“The world has begun to realize that the education gap matters. Education challenges have risen to the top of the agenda in many settings. We are in the midst an historic moment, and it is not the time for any of us to step back. Instead, we need to lean in and build the political will and financial momentum at all levels of government to put education to the top of the agenda.”

Read the full speech by Alice Albright at the ADEA Triennale


The Global Partnership for Education Secretariat is headquartered in Washington DC and has approximately 100 staff. The Secretariat provides administrative and operational support to all its partners including...

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