International Centre for Girls’ and Women’s Education in Africa

January 26, 2017

International Centre for Girls’ and Women’s Education in Africa




Addis Ababa 26 January 2017 - The African Union International Center for Girls’ and Women’s Education in Africa (AU/CIEFFA) and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Ethiopia, UNESCO-IICBA, UNICEF, Save the Children, Plan International, Canada and ADEA jointly organized today 26 January 2017, a High Level Dialogue (HLP) on Gender Equality and Education at the Conference Center of the Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The HLP was organized on the margins of the ongoing  28th Summit of the African Union (AU) holding under the theme:  ‘’ Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investment in Youth’’.

The meeting which brought together ministers of Education, Gender and representatives of international organisations , CSOs dealing with gender related issues, was held under the auspices of Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the AU Commission and the Government of Norway. The objective of the HLP was to revitalize the momentum on gender equality and women’s rights with a view to promoting internationally agreed development goals including Agenda 2063, the SDGs, as well as the Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA 2016-2025). The HLP was also aimed at ensuring the rights to education for girls and young women, as central to the implementation of Agenda 2063 and the SDGs as well as encourage greater inclusion of all advocates for education, women’s rights, gender equality and the empowerment of women in national and international policy dialogue and decision-making processes.

Addressing the panelists on behalf of the AUC Chairperson, H.E Dr Martial De-Paul Ikounga, Commissioner for Human Resources Science and Technology of the AUC, underscored the importance of empowering the girl child through education so as to effectively and efficiently harness the demographic dividend within the continent.  He said the education of the girl child will help develop the society in all sectors of human endeavors.

Prominent at the event was H.E .Ms. Graca Machel, International advocate for women’s and children's rights who presented a key note address during the opening ceremony of the HLP, in the presence of H.E Ms Laila Bokhari, State Secretary, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Norway and H.E Mr. Shiferaw Teklemariam,  Minister of Education of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Also in attendance were Ministers of Higher Education, Ministers of Education, Ministers of Gender, International advocates for women’s and children's rights, partners, international organizations, civil society as well as young men and women.   


The panelists emphasized on the importance of education towards social, cultural and economic empowerment of women in Africa. The three panel sessions focused on the following thematic areas:.


  1. “Realizing the rights to Education as a key to harnessing the demographic dividend’’
  2.  “Education in Emergencies”
  3. Creating the future: Economic empowerment for young women.

For more information contact:

Simone Yankey-Ouattara | African Union/CIEFFA  I

Tel: +251 912 13 8558           


 Esther Azaa Tankou/ Head of Information Division, AUC/ / Tel: +251911361185


For further information:

Directorate of Information and Communication | African Union Commission I E-mail: I Website:


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