Pan-African High-Level Conference on Education- Pace 2018

April 25, 2018 to April 27, 2018

Pan-African High-Level Conference on Education- Pace 2018

Since the inception of the first global education movement commenced at the World Conference on Education for All in 1990 in Jomtien in 1990, Education is recognised as a public good, a fundamental human right and the basis for the fulfilment of the human rights. In 2015, the international community, after an unprecedented and inclusive consultation process, endorsed the comprehensive 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development comprised by 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Education, a standalone goal in itself (SDG4), was also reiterated as a main driver of development in general and as such considered fundamental for achieving all the other SDGs. SDG4 aims to ensure equitable inclusive quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all.

Additionally in 2016, the African Union, in the bid to support the new vision for development of the continent (Agenda 2063) and ‘to “create” a new African citizen that can be ‘an effective change agent of this drive’, endorsed, the Continental Strategy for Education in Africa 2016‐2025 (CESA 16‐25). The strategy is the African response to own Education 2030, and shape and adapt them to the specific needs of the continent, building on lessons learnt from previous education strategies and plans. It aims at “Reorienting Africa’s education and training systems to meet the knowledge, competencies, skills, innovation and creativity required to nurture African core values and promote sustainable development at the national, sub‐regional and continental levels.”

Nearly three years after the endorsement of the SDGs, and two years after the adoption of CESA 16‐25, African countries are at different stages of progress in integrating/mainstreaming the internationally and regionally agreed targets and commitments into their national education policies, plans and practices. It is therefore important, in the pursuit of Education 2030 and CESA 16‐25, to take stock of the progress made and to identify both the challenges and the opportunities in the further alignment of national education systems in view of ensuring a transformative education for Africa in a meaningful and significant way. There is also a need to understand and exchange on how this alignment is influencing current reform agendas, education legislation, policy, plans, financing and monitoring and information systems, as well as devised mechanisms for consultation, coordination, collaboration and reporting.

It is within this context, that UNESCO and the Government of Kenya agreed to convene a Pan‐ African High‐level Conference on Education (PACE 2018), in collaboration with the African Union (AU) as well as other key partners including ADEA and the SDG4 co‐conveners (ILO, UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNHCR, UN Women and World Bank). PACE 2018 provides an opportunity to share progress, success stories, challenges and lessons learned by Member States thus far and to contribute to the ongoing discussions on the 2063 African Union vision The Africa We Want.

In addition, the event will allow Africa to reflect and prepare for two upcoming major global events, the Global Education Meeting (GEM, December 2018) and the High Level Political Forum (HLPF, July 2019) both intended as mechanisms for monitoring progress of the global education agenda. The HLPF are yearly events, reviewing in more detail the progress of specific SDGs. In 2019, under the theme ‐ Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality ‐ SDG4 on Education will be reviewed along with SDG8 (Inclusive economic growth & Decent work), SDG10 (Inequality reduction), SDG13 (Climate Action) SDG16 (Peace and Justice) and SDG17 (Partnerships).

PACE will also allow countries to deepen their understanding of some key transversal issues and enable knowledge and experiences sharing for the advancement of the education agenda. Furthermore, it is expected that PACE 2018 will assist African governments and other stakeholders, to ensure that a transformative and transformed education contributes to the seven aspirations identified in Agenda 2063: a prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development; an integrated continent, politically united, based on the ideals of Pan‐ Africanism and the vision of Africa’s Renaissance; an Africa of good governance, respect for human rights, justice and the rule of law; a peaceful and secure Africa; an Africa with a strong cultural identity, common heritage, values and ethics; an Africa whose development is people‐ driven, relying on the potential of African people, especially its women and youth, and caring for children; and Africa as a strong, united, resilient and influential global player and partner.