Remarks by GPE Board Chair, President Jakaya Kikwete, at the High-Level Dialogue on Financing for Development on September 20, 2023.
The Addis Ababa Action Agenda committed us to invest in quality education for all, including through initiatives like the Global Partnership for Education.
Yet today, the financing gap to reach SDG 4 is 100 billion dollars per year.
The majority must come from national budgets.
Twenty GPE partner countries have committed to improve the volume, equity and efficiency of education spending. I know others will join the Call to Action on Education Financing at the African Union Summit in February.
But developing countries are facing extreme economic pressure.
Twenty five GPE partner countries spend more on debt than education.
GPE has worked with France and Côte d'Ivoire to help redirect $70 million from a debt swap into education.
I commend their initiative.
But we need large scale reform.
Developing countries need an equitable international financing architecture that gives them the fiscal space to invest in human capital.
Girls' education alone could add 30 trillion dollars to the global economy.
We are living through great environmental, demographic and technological shifts.
Education is another global tipping point.
We cannot build a better future if three quarters of the world's children cannot read a simple story.
Young people need knowledge and skills to thrive amid these changes and drive progress forward.
Education must feature strongly in the 2024 Summit of the Future's Pact and the 2025 Financing For Development Summit.
We owe it to our children and grandchildren to move beyond our differences on financing development so that no one is left behind.