Education in Africa takes center stage in Italian government’s Mattei plan
Students participate during a class at the Boyali 2 school. Central African Republic
Students participate during a class at the Boyali 2 school. Central African Republic
Credit:
GPE/Eduardo Soteras

The Global Partnership for Education applauds the Italian Government’s commitment to UN Sustainable Development Agenda.

WASHINGTON D.C./ROME, January 12, 2024 - In a significant development, the Italian Parliament approved an amendment to the Mattei Plan, the Italian Government’s international development scheme aimed at boosting cooperation with African countries, placing education at the heart of its engagement in Africa. 

Staggeringly, statistics reveal that in low-income countries, seven out of ten children struggle to read a simple story by the age of ten. The numbers of out-of-school children and youth has surged to an alarming 250 million. This dire situation is especially acute in Africa, with girls lagging furthest behind.

The approved amendment underscores the Italian government’s commitment to taking proactive measures to highlight the crucial role of education in advancing sustainable development. This commitment will shape both the strategic framework of the Mattei Plan, and the upcoming Italy-Africa Summit, which will host a dedicated session on education facilitated by UNESCO, the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), and Education Cannot Wait (ECW) and the Italian Presidency of the G7.

Laura Frigenti, GPE’s CEO, applauded the Italian government’s emphasis on education, especially during the upcoming Italy-Africa Summit on January 28-29, 2024, and the significance that Africa holds during the Italian Presidency of the G7. “This marks a great stride towards more equitable societies as the Italian government commits to upholding the UN 2030 Agenda that calls for providing quality, inclusive, and equitable education for all.”

Education will be a central theme throughout 2024, starting with the Italy-Africa Summit and continuing with the African Union Summit in Addis Abeba in February, which will launch the African Year of Education. This will be followed by ministerial meetings and the G7 Summit, all during the Italian Presidency.

Frigenti added, “It’s high time we shifted our perspective on education, viewing it not as an expense, but as a strategic investment. Enabling all girls to receive 12 years of education could potentially increase lifetime earnings for women by US$15-30 trillion globally. Just one additional year of education has the potential to boost a woman’s earning capacity by 20%, leading to more resilient families, improved economic and food security, and a reduction in factors driving migration. This underscores the critical importance of focusing on girls’ education, often neglected in many countries.”

The Global Partnership for Education stands ready to support the G7 Presidency in its collaborative efforts with Africa to drive concrete progress in education.

In conclusion, Frigenti highlighted that “by prioritizing education in Africa during its G7 Presidency, Italy is showing leadership in helping empower the next generation of Africans to address challenges such as climate change, foster entrepreneurship, and secure livelihoods. The intricate web of challenges confronting Africa today intersect education, climate change, and migration, demanding our urgent attention. And the continent’s education systems lie at the heart of this nexus.”

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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 nearly 90 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  

Media contact:  

Tamara Kummer, GPE Head of Communications, @email, + 33 7 82 26 07 18 or +1 202 948 5395 

Students participate during a class at the Boyali 2 school. Central African Republic
Students participate during a class at the Boyali 2 school. Central African Republic
Credit:
GPE/Eduardo Soteras

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