ADEA advocates for countries to showcase and share lessons on successful reforms

The Executive Secretary of the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA), Albert Nsengiyumva, has advocated for countries to learn from each other while also ensuring their education systems are in alignment with the labor market. He believes this is a key approach to addressing the learning challenges in Africa and showcasing the outcomes of reform efforts by countries and stakeholders. These were the central thesis of his address at the maiden edition of the Thought Leadership Webinar Series by Sterling One Foundation to commemorate the 2024 International Day of Education, held on Friday 26th January. 

While making his keynote remarks, Albert acknowledged the learning challenges Africa faces across multiple levels but also emphasized that it was time to change the narrative to focus on what is working and share the stories of countries whose efforts are yielding results. He highlighted the growing need for countries to learn from each other, stop working in silos, and ensure alignment between their education systems and the needs of their labor market. 

‘I think this is the kind of exercise that we need to engage in; learning from each other. I think we have gone beyond the time when countries in Africa where isolated based on their colonial background. It's time to build a unified continent where something positive happening in Nigeria, for example, can actually be replicated elsewhere as long as it is able to be adapted. 

Secondly, we all understand the need to align education and training and the needs in the labor markets. This has been one of the challenges in many of our systems. You can see the private sector complaining about the quality of graduates coming from higher education or from technical and vocational education. You can see complaints coming from the training providers suggesting that unless the private sector is able to engage and support education, there's not much our education can do in terms of addressing the needs of the labor market.’

The Thought Leadership event was held under the theme, ‘Learning for Lasting Peace’. It was also an opportunity for Sterling One Foundation to support the advocacy for the African Union Year of Education in 2024. It helped to kickstart strategic conversations with stakeholders, including regulators and policy makers, development and sustainability experts, private sector impact makers, and influencers. It provided an opportunity to share insights and set the pace on practicable solutions for creating functional and safe learning environments for children and youths in Africa.