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African Education Ministers Rally for Enhanced Partnerships to Benefit Children

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From left to right: Alicia Herbert OBE (FCDO); Hon. Minister Conrad Sackey (Sierra Leone); Hon. Minister Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum (Ghana); Hon. Minister Jarso Jallah (Liberia); and panel moderator, Dr. Vongai Nyahunzvi (Alliance for Women and Girls), speaking at Global Schools Forum side event in London.
From left to right: Alicia Herbert OBE (FCDO); Hon. Minister Conrad Sackey (Sierra Leone); Hon. Minister Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum (Ghana); Hon. Minister Jarso Jallah (Liberia); and panel moderator, Dr. Vongai Nyahunzvi (Alliance for Women and Girls), speaking at Global Schools Forum side event in London.

Education ministers from across Sub-Saharan Africa convened at a Global Schools Forum event in London, alongside partners such as the IDP Foundation, Jacobs Foundation, and Vitol Foundation, to pledge ambitious commitments aimed at driving socio-economic transformation through education across the region.

Titled “Innovative Partnerships at Scale to Achieve SDG 4 in Africa,” the event provided a platform for education ministers and policymakers to showcase successes, address areas for improvement, and identify opportunities for impactful change through collaborative partnerships. Attended by UK government officials, multilateral representatives, NGOs, philanthropies, and senior education leaders, the event was held in conjunction with the Education World Forum.

Alicia Herbert OBE, Director of Education, Gender, and Equality for the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO), commended the significant role played by non-state education providers in delivering education in low-income countries. She emphasized the need for a collaborative approach, citing the UK Government’s commitment to accelerating international development efforts with education as a central focus.

During a moderated panel discussion, education ministers from Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Ghana shared insights into successful partnerships and models for delivering education. Minister Adutwum of Ghana highlighted the importance of viewing children as a vital investment for socio-economic transformation, urging African nations to elevate their commitment to education.

Minister Jallah of Liberia emphasized her country’s positive experience with non-state education, citing its role in addressing learning gaps resulting from past conflicts and crises. She underscored Liberia’s increased collaboration with non-state actors to deliver educational services, demonstrating a personal connection to such initiatives.

Minister Sackey of Sierra Leone highlighted innovative approaches to building a resilient education system, emphasizing partnerships with non-state actors to support national learning objectives. He stressed the need for increased collaboration to address education challenges across the continent, acknowledging the insufficient funding allocated to education.

Reflecting on the discussion, CEO of Global Schools Forum, Aashti Zaidi Hai, emphasized the importance of collaboration between state and non-state partners in achieving positive education outcomes. The event underscored the critical role of partnerships in advancing SDG 4 and addressing the financing gap in education.

As Africa grapples with increasing numbers of out-of-school children, the event served as a call to action to reimagine education systems and remove barriers to partnerships. Innovative programs led by philanthropies, NGOs, and civil society groups have shown promise in driving positive change, expanding access to education, improving quality standards, and enhancing teacher training.

Held during the African Union’s ‘Year of Education,’ the event marked a significant opportunity to chart a course for realizing SDG 4, learn from successful education innovations, and strengthen partnerships across the continent’s education sectors.

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