African Leaders Appeal to Make Education for All a lasting World Cup legacy
Angela Bekkers – abekkers@educationfasttrackorg
Aby Touré –email@example.com
Washington, D.C 9 July 2010― Thirteen African Heads of State have written to government leaders in donor countries, appealing for financial support to make Education for All (EFA) a lasting legacy of the World Cup 2010 for all children in Africa.
In the letter to their counterparts in donor countries, the Presidents of Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, The Gambia, Ghana, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo and Rwanda and the Prime Minister of Lesotho, emphasize that education is key in reducing poverty and creating an overall healthier and skilled population and because of that their governments have stepped up their own funding for education. Unfortunately, despite impressive gains in enrolling children into school in African countries and primary school completion rates, external aid for education in low-income countries is faltering.
These African government leaders ask in particular support for the Education for All Fast-Track Initiative (EFA-FTI), which is seen as a key ally in their efforts to provide a quality education to all boys and girls in their countries. The EFA-FTI has provided support to education in 24 African countries and has helped enroll 19 million more children in school in these countries. The completion of a full course of primary school for all children by 2015 is one of the eight Millennium Development Goals which will be discussed at a 1GOAL Education for All summit in South Africa convened by South African President Jacob Zuma on the day of the World Cup finals. It marks a culmination in efforts led by the 1Goal campaign and football’s world governing body, FIFA, to push basic education in Africa higher up on the global agenda. Progress on the education goals will also be a key topic of a UN summit in September 2010.
“Increasing support to FTI will help to reach the millions of children around the world―about half in Sub-Saharan Africa―who still do not go to school,” the government leaders write in their letter. “An estimated 14 million out-of-school children, mostly in Sub-Saharan Africa, live in countries seeking support from EFA FTI this year and next.”
In order to create a level playing field for all children around the world, the African leaders commit to increasing domestic resources for achieving EFA. They conclude their appeal by writing that “by the time we meet in September 2010 at the UN Millennium Development Summit in New York, we look forward to new commitments from donor countries as well”.
About the Education for All Fast Track Initiative (EFA-FTI):
Since its creation in 2002, EFA-FTI has grown to become a global partnership endorsing the education plans of 41 low-income countries around the world, including 24 in Sub-Saharan Africa. To date, EFA FTI has granted US$ 2 billion to support the education strategies of developing countries. These funds have helped to train more than 300,000 teachers, construct 28,000 classrooms, and distribute over 200 million text books.
To read the letter in full, please visit the website: www.educationfasttrack.org