Reviewing the Region’s Progress in Reaching the Goals of the Second Decade of Education for Africa: Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)

This brief on the educational performance of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Regional Economic Community tracks the status of the eight components of the African Union’s Plan of Action for the Second Decade of Education. The coverage of education statistics for the associated member states is notably poor and hence much remains to be learned about the region. However, this brief serves as a basis for review until the opportunities arise to investigate and learn more about the region’s education and training sector.

Established in 1996, IGAD has as its educational mission to facilitate, promote and strengthen cooperation in research development and application in science and technology. Its eight member states have a total population of over 236 million, representing 22 per cent of Africa’s population. The school age population for the region represents 17 per cent of the continent’s school population although wide variations can be seen across countries. In 2010, the GDP growth rate was 6.1 per cent which is relatively higher than the Sub-Saharan growth rate of 5.1 in the same year.

Education has the potential to address the challenges of socio-political, economic and environmental instability in the region if policies and programmes are designed to mitigate vulnerability and build the values of peace and citizenship. In recognition of this, IGAD has established a division devoted to Economic Cooperation and Social Development under which education has been identified as a thematic area. Recognizing the importance education can play in stabilising and promoting peace, at least four of the region’s countries participate in the ADEA Inter-Country Quality Node (ICQN) on peace education which is championed by the Ministry of Education, Kenya.