Exemplary efforts to transform education in both countries despite increasing budgetary pressures
NAIROBI/KIGALI/WASHINGTON D.C., May 13, 2022 – Charles North, Acting CEO of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), concluded a five-day visit to Kenya and Rwanda today.
During the trip, North met with high-level officials and partners from both countries, including Sara Ruto, Kenya’s Education Chief Administrative Secretary; Julius Jwan, Principal Secretary of Kenya’s State Department for Early Learning and Basic Education; Dr. Ruth Kagia, Kenya’s Senior Advisor in the Office of the President; Dr. Valentine Uwamariya, Rwanda’s Minister of Education; and development partners and civil society organizations active in the education sector in both countries.
In Nairobi, North participated in a Rotary Foundation-hosted event with GPE’s private sector partners Avanti Communications, Ecobank and Intel. The event was also attended by GPE youth leaders, civil society, Ministry of Education officials, and members of the inter-parliamentary network on education (IPNED). Business expertise and strategic capabilities offer essential tools to complement country efforts on education.
Kenya and Rwanda are regional leaders in transforming education and delivering inclusive and quality education to every child, including those most marginalized and vulnerable.
“With significant budgetary pressures caused by COVID-19 and the current global economic upheaval, the efforts by Kenya and Rwanda’s leaders to transform their education systems and deliver quality learning for all children are praiseworthy,” said North. “The determination and commitment I witnessed from governments, teachers, businesses, parents, students and communities is nothing short of remarkable.”
President Uhuru Kenyatta, co-host to the London Global Education Summit in July 2021 that saw GPE raise over $4 billion, has spearheaded the Heads of State Call to Action on Education Finance, asking GPE partner countries to prioritize, protect and increase domestic financing to at least 20% of national budgets.
Kenya is among the first countries to complete a country-led partnership compact aiming to transform teacher professional development and provide quality education for all children in the country.
Rwanda, a leader on gender equality in education, has also strongly supported the Call to Action, committing to increase domestic education financing up to 22% by 2024. It is among the group of countries that are moving fast towards preparing a partnership compact for the country, to prioritize transformative reforms to the education system with harmonized support from partners. The development of the partnership compact is led by the government of Rwanda and supported by all development partners.
As of early May 2022, Rwanda was the first country to secure a GPE Multiplier grant as part of GPE’s new approach, providing nimble support to government-set priorities. The grant was approved in a record 30 days, helping Rwanda mobilize $130 million for basic education.
“With national budgets already reeling from the pandemic and shifting priorities in donor and partner countries alike, education spending risks being squeezed further, with potentially disastrous consequences for learning,” added Charles North. “In this challenging context, stable funding remains absolutely critical to continue delivering transformative change in education for the world’s most vulnerable children,” added North.
Amid budgetary pressures brought on by rising costs and instability, GPE calls on all donors to maintain their commitments towards global education and to secure a fully funded GPE.
Notes to editors
In July 2021 in London, the Global Education Summit co-hosted by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, raised a record US$4 billion for GPE from donors. The fundraising total puts GPE firmly on the path to achieving its target of at least $5 billion, which will enable up to 175 million children to learn and help get 88 million more girls and boys in school by 2025.
About the Global Partnership for Education
GPE is a shared commitment to ending the world’s learning crisis. We mobilize partners and funds to support 77 lower-income countries to transform their education systems so that every girl and boy can get the quality education they need to unlock their full potential and contribute to building a better world. www.globalpartnership.org
- Tamara Kummer, GPE media lead, @email, + 33 7 82 26 07 18