ADEA, EU Parliament Set for Conference on Education Policies on Foundational Learning

Wednesday April 12th, 2023 – Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire

The Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) and the European Union (EU) Parliament RENEWPAC group have concluded plans for a conference on education policies in Africa, focusing on foundational learning. The conference will take place at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, on the 13th of April 2023, between 2 – 5pm. The conference’s them is, Education Policies and Strategies for Africa: What Partnership between the European Union and Africa?’

African and EU relations have weakened over the last decade owing to a combination of factors including differences in views on global conflicts, non-alignments on geo-politics and the economics of Africa’s development. In the same period, socio-economic and political challenges have intensified in parts of Africa. However, education is a common ground to address these issues and mediate the scope of alignment between Africa and the EU with foundational learning an ideal space for conversation and collaboration. Improving foundational learning outcomes is a top priority in Africa’s education agenda. A recent working paper by the National Bureau of Economic Research shows that 94% of children in sub-Saharan Africa lack the basic skills to contribute to a modern economy as foundational learning form the basis of all learning and are crucial to breaking cycles of poverty. 

African governments and political leaders have pledged to accelerate improvement in foundational literacy, numeracy, and socio-emotional learning. These commitments have been reinforced on crucial platforms including SDG-4, the African Union’s Agenda 2063, the Continental Education Strategy for Africa 2016 – 2025 (CESA 16-25), the recommendations of the Transforming Education Summit and the ADEA 2022 Triennale. While some of these commitments are now taking root and showing signs of progress, efforts and new ideas are essential to guarantee wide scale impact and ensure sustainability. 

With the above challenges and efforts in mind and given the EU’s strong educational policies and strategies, an in-depth reflection was appropriate, to articulate the types of collaboration and partnership in the field of education that could strengthen relations between Europe and Africa. It is in view of these common objectives that ADEA and the EU Parliament’s RENEWPAC is hosting this conference. The session will share experience and expertise at the policy level to improve education quality especially at foundational level and with special focus on women and girls while working to strengthen historical ties between the European Union and Africa. 

According to Albert Nsengiyumva, the Executive Secretary of ADEA,

‘As a continental policy body on education, our responsibility is to shape policy discussions in favour of Africa and distil best practices in education that African countries can leverage to scale their learning systems. Hence, this conference is another opportunity to live this mandate, diversify our knowledge base and nurture ties with Europe.'

Similarly, Myriam Ferran, Deputy Director General of International Partnership at the European Commission, believes that 

‘the meeting will establish renewed commitments to use education as a lever to rebuild the weakened ties between Africa and the European Union, through collaborative support for foundational learning, in an environment of mutual trust, accountability and cooperation’. 

The conference will bring together government, development partners, civil society actors and multilateral partners. It will feature presentation and intervention by key African and European political actors including Dr Mariatou Kone, Minister of National Education and Literacy in Côte d’Ivoire, Dr Valentine Uwamariya, Minister of Education in Rwanda, Mr Emmanuel Puisais-Jauvin, Secretary General for European Affairs, Mr Max Orville, Member of the European Parliament (Renew Europe), Mrs Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana, Member of the European Parliament (Greens/EFA), Mr Armando Ali, CEO of the Popular Action for Learning (PAL) Network. 


About ADEA

The Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) is a critical voice and a forum for policy dialogue on education in Africa. It is hosted by the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. ADEA envisions high-quality African education and training geared towards the promotion of critical skills for accelerated and sustainable development in Africa. We serve as an open and flexible pan-African organization that informs and facilitates the transformation of education and training that will accelerate sustainable development in Africa. The anticipated impact of ADEA’s work is that African countries are empowered to develop education and training systems that respond to their current and emergent needs and sustainably drive Africa’s social and economic transformation.



RENEWPAC, is the Renew Europe political family founded in 2019 at the onset of the 9th EU parliament. We are a liberal, pro-European political group committed to promoting relations with our sister parties from Pacific, Africa, and Caribbean (PAC). We seek to work together with our allies to develop a tangible and consistent agenda based on shared values and shared political priorities towards a stronger partnership in the interest of our citizens. Our members are committed to the ideals that will yield sustainable economic development; prosperity for our citizens, global partners and for our future generations; solidarity, peace, and security; protection of human rights for all; gender equality and women's empowerment; respect for democratic principles, good governance, and the rule of law; climate change and the fight against inequalities.


For more information, please contact the following persons:

  1. Chinedu Anarado – Communications Specialist, ADEA:
  2. Alexandre Krauss – Political Advisor, Inter-Institutional Relations, National Parliaments, and Networking Unit; RENEWPAC Delegation