African Union Heads of State and Government Adopts the Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA) as the framework for transformative education and training system

Addis Ababa 31 January 2016 - The African Union Heads of State and Government during their Twenty-Sixth Ordinary Session on 31 January 2016 in Addis Ababa adopted the Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA 2016-2025) as the framework for transformative education and training system in Africa; in relation with objective 4 of the sustainable development goals. They immediately called upon the Member States, RECs, Partners, Private Sector, and NEPAD to popularize and raise awareness on CESA 2016-2025 and develop implementation plans, and mobilize domestic resources for its implementation; and to collaborate with the Commission towards the implementation of the CESA.

In the bid to “create” a new African citizen who will be an effective change agent for the continent’s sustainable development as envisioned by the AU and its 2063 Agenda, the African Union Commission has developed this strategy driven by the desire to set up a “qualitative system of education and training to provide the African continent with efficient human resources adapted to African core values and therefore capable to achieve the vision and ambitions of the African Union.” Those responsible for its implementation will be assigned to “reorient Africa’s education and training systems to meet the knowledge, competencies, skills, innovation and creativity required to nurture African core values and promote sustainable development at the national, sub-regional and continental levels.”

The adoption of the strategy, although significant has no meaning if steps are not taken to implement it. The Heads of State and Government in their decision have also requested the Commission in collaboration with UNESCO to coordinate educational partnership and support for the implementation of the process of harmonization of education in Africa. They have further requested the Member States and partners to promote alignment of TVET Skills Portability initiatives with on-going work on harmonization and quality assurance in higher education.

The implementation of CESA will be guided by six principles and seven pillars. They will all be instrumental to the Continental Strategy in pursing the following twelve Strategic Objectives:

  • Revitalize the teaching profession to ensure quality and relevance at all levels of education
  • Build, rehabilitate and support education infrastructure and develop policies that ensure a permanent stress free and conducive learning environment for all, so as to expand access to quality education at all levels including informal and non-formal settings
  • Harness the capacity of ICT to improve access, quality and management of education and training systems
  • Ensure acquisition of requisite knowledge and skills as well as improved completion rates at all levels and groups through harmonization processes across all levels for national and regional integration
  • Accelerate processes leading to gender parity and equity
  • Launch comprehensive and effective literacy programmes across the continent to eradicate the scourge of illiteracy
  • Strengthen the science and math curricula in youth training and disseminate scientific knowledge and culture in society
  • Expand TVET opportunities at both secondary and tertiary levels and strengthen linkages between the world of work and education and training systems
  • Revitalize and expand tertiary education, research and innovation to address continental challenges and promote global competitiveness
  • Promote peace education and conflict prevention and resolution at all levels of education and for all age groups
  • Improve management of education system as well build and enhance capacity for data collection, management, analysis, communication, and use
  • Set up a coalition of stakeholders to facilitate and support activities resulting from the implementation of CESA 16-25. 

Dr Martial de Paul Ikounga, Commissioner for Human resources Science and Technology expressed the strong wish of a successful implementation of the CESA.

For further information, please contact

  • Claudette Chancelle Bilampassi, Special Assistant, Human Resources, Science and Technology, African Union commission:

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