AfDB calls for strategic partnerships to support quality education and skills development


The African Development Bank joined the Global Partnership for Education and other multilateral development banks at the World Education Summit: Funding GPE 2021-2025, to call for stronger strategic partnerships to build place innovative financing mechanisms in support of quality education and skills development.

The summit was co-hosted by President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The Vice President of the Bank for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, Dr Beth Dunford, participated in a session on the leadership of multilateral development banks in financing education. Participants in this session discussed the growing priority of investing in education, the challenges of growing education portfolios and the economic impacts of Covid-19, as well as the efforts of multilateral banks to help countries achieve transform their education systems.

“The overall funding gap is huge. Before Covid-19, estimates show that in Africa we need $ 40 billion a year to close the education funding gap by 2030, and that figure will increase after the pandemic, ”said Dunford.

“This is why, at the international level, and in an era of growing debt and budget constraints, we are joining the Global Partnership for Education with an emphasis on domestic funding and complementarity within the global financial architecture, ”she added.

Dunford highlighted the role of the Bank in leading the way to create innovative financing mechanisms for education. She highlighted the partnership of the Bank and the African Union Commission (link is external) to develop an African Fund for Education, Science, Technology and Innovation of $ 300 million, in order to stimulate investments in the development of Africa’s human capital, including technical and vocational education, and science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The goal of the summit was to give leaders the opportunity to make a five-year commitment to support the work of the Global Partnership for Education and help transform education systems in up to 90 countries and territories, where 80% of the world’s children out of school children live.

Participants discussed member countries’ appetite for education sector projects, especially given the impact of debt and Covid-19, and advocated for education highlighting the clear links between learning and economic growth.

Dr Bandar Hajjar, President of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) noted that the IDB recognizes the power of education to sustain a society and play a role in building peaceful, stable and prosperous countries. He noted that our joint efforts to invest in quality education today will help shape the future.

Participants called for a strategic partnership to build innovative financing mechanisms to develop skills for the labor market of today and tomorrow.

Masatsugu Asakawa, president of the Asian Development Bank, said his bank supports the recovery of the education sector after the pandemic. He stressed that, more than ever, it was necessary to work together to redouble investment in education and bring innovative solutions to the challenges facing our countries.

Dr Mari Pangestu, Director General for Development Policy and Partnerships at the World Bank, also acknowledged the level of learning poverty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. “Three things are critical right now: getting children back to school safely; recover learning losses and empower teachers and, in the context of better reconstruction, start investing in longer-term learning systems, ”Pangestu said.


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