A timely, decisive agenda for the continent

As Nelson Mandela capitalized on one of his utterances the best way to break away from debilitating poverty is zeroing in on education whose benefits are multifaceted.

The perks to be derived from education could be broadly categorized as societal and personal.

Societies boasting a higher rate of degree levels of education tend to be healthier, have higher rates of economic stability, lower crime, and greater equality.

Personally people benefit from receiving education when it comes to income, career advancement, skill development and employment opportunities.

The African Union’s Heads of State Summit kicked of yesterday in its headquarters in Ethiopia. Appreciably and timelyeducation tops the agenda for this year’s mammoth gathering. There is no gainsaying;achievement in the education sector will be instrumental in realizing the continent’s lofty vision.

It is to be recalled that prior to the summit, the Forty-Seventh (47th) Ordinary Session of the African Union’s Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC) adopted the theme: “Educate an African Fit for the 21st Century: Building resilient education systems for increased access to inclusive, lifelong, quality, and relevant learning in Africa,” .

The meeting has brought together ambassadors from African Union Member States and AU officials are expected to come up with various draft reports and prepare the agenda for the Forty-Fourth (44th) Ordinary Session of the Executive Council, scheduled for 14th to 15th February 2024, in Addis Ababa.

The theme for the Year 2024 is extensively deliberating on reforming Education in Africa, with the prospect of training young people endowed with intellectual, scientific, and ethical capacities to serve the transformation of our continent in a bid to create a comfortable and productive living space.

“Success in this area will have significant knock-on effects on sectors such as security, control of population growth, the empowerment of women and girls, agriculture, digitalization, migration, etc. Properly conducted and implemented in an orderly manner, educational reform will reverse the trend towards poverty and enhance the attractiveness of Africa, in terms of investment and therefore, the creation of prosperity.”

Obviously,transforming Africa’s education with modern systems and technologies, among others, will positively impact the actualization of the continent’s aspirations. Africa’s youth must be armed with the obligatory knowledge and skills to troubleshoot the major socioeconomic and political hurdles of the continent that is getting off the ground. As it is true in other spheres, post-colonial Africa is faced with ever-growing demand for improving access to education and scaling up quality. Education still remains at its embryonic state and it is marred by quality problems. It is subject to dependency on external finance and technological and material constraints.

Africa, a continent subjugated to slavery and colonization, has missed lots of amenities that it should enjoy from education. This is because of the reason that most of the educational curricula African countries use has been designed by colonizers or copied and pasted from the educational strategies of former colonial masters. This has directly or indirectly emasculated home-grown knowledge and eroded the cultural norms of most African countries.

A well-embracing and state-of -the art education arms people with the essential knowledge, skills, and attitudes be it for personal development or societal progress; it also plays a key role in shaping the workforce, fostering innovation, and promoting social mobility. In this regard, a nation’s curriculum eminence plays an imminence role in taking the lion`s share in shaping the future of the society.

Investing on technological advancement is also vital for giving a green light to universal access, buttressing the quality of education, and intensifying innovation, entrepreneurship, and employability. And, for Africa to circumvent its hurdles, the education sector begs to be decolonized and the curriculum calls for indigenization. Political determination and technical leadership are mandatory to upturn trends in the sector. In this regard, the directions at the highest level including the AU Summit have a fate-shaping impact in implementing goals and formulating sound policies. The bottom-line is success in the education sector will have a contagious effect on other areas as well.

According to the State Minister of Government Communication Service,Ethiopia has demonstrated a palpable turnaround in ensuring in outreach with educational services placing focus on quality. This commendable task is worthy of emulation by others in a bid to beat poverty, transform Africa and ensure its growth, for Europeans assured growth through their renaissance program. Africa has to tap in to its potential specialy its indigenous knowledge and own languages. 


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