This is the 1st blog post in 2019 as part of the collaborative effort between the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) and the Global Partnership for Education (GPE).
On December 3, 2018, the United Nations General Assembly adopted with consensus the resolution 73/25 – co-authored by Nigeria and 58 other Member States – proclaiming January 24 as the International Day of Education, in celebration of the role of education for peace and development.
The adoption marked the unwavering political will to support transformative actions for inclusive, equitable and quality education for all.
Education is the key to unlock Africa’s youth potential
Education is the foundation for any human society to evolve and meet its aspirations in terms of social and economic development, peace, democracy and more generally inclusive governance that promote women and youth empowerment.
Over the last 10 years, African countries have focused on addressing access to basic education as a key milestone in supporting community development. Through education, they put an emphasis on promoting gender equity and equality, not only in remote or rural areas but also in communities and locations where men primarily dominated education.
The gains in improving access to education on the continent have been impressive, but the main challenge is now to improve the quality of education. This has been articulated in several international frameworks (i.e. 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development Goals, Africa’s Agenda 2063, etc.) from various Pan-African organizations such the African Union Commission, the Sustainable Development Goals Center for Africa (SDGC/A), the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA), and so forth.
Quality education in the current African context needs to address two important and complementary objectives:
- Preparing the African youth to the current and future “world of work” as engines of innovation by fostering 21st century skills (i.e. critical thinking; creativity; collaboration; communication; information, media and technology literacy; flexibility; leadership; initiative; productivity; and social skills). These tools will help improve their personal lives, careers and impact on today’s job markets.
- Empowering Africans youth to become community change makers and leaders by promoting modern practices with regard to community development and inclusion.