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‘Big Push' to accelerate Education for All in Africa

Over the last decade sub-Saharan countries in Africa (SSA) registered significant progress in education. However, from the 45 countries in SSA for which data is available, at least 32 countries will very unlikely achieve all six EFA goals, while 12 countries still have a good chance to attain them if progress is accelerated.

Urgent and strategic actions are needed to meet all six goals, through mobilizing stronger political and financial commitment at the country, regional and global levels. For most countries, acceleration would mean increasing the opportunities to attain more if not all of the six EFA goals.

The final recommendation of the Global EFA Meeting (Paris, November 2012) urged countries to show commitment and make an additional effort to improve the EFA indicators within the remaining years before 2015. UNESCO was urged to mobilise partners and take the lead to assist countries in the efforts for the ‘big push’ for EFA.

Broad partnership

In order to respond to that task, UNESCO and in particular its Regional Office for Education in Africa in Dakar has launched an initiative aiming to support selected Sub-Saharan Africa countries to initiate a process of redefining EFA priorities and developing sustainable acceleration efforts for the period 2013-2015. 

The implementation of this Big Push Initiative is based on a partnership from the Sub Saharan Africa EFA Coordination Committee (ADEA, ANCEFA, CONFEMEN, FAWE, UNESCO, UNICEF and UNFPA) and the concerned UNESCO Field Offices.

Guidelines have been elaborated to inspire sub-Saharan countries develop their EFA Acceleration framework as an integral part of existing plans, through re-focusing of investments, collective responsibility and action, and effective partnerships through the systematic participation of civil society and community involvement with the active role of the private sector.

First countries to join

The first group of sub-Sahara African countries joined the Big Push initiative in March 2013. They are Angola, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Lesotho, Niger, Senegal, Swaziland, and Zambia.

Another 11 countries got engaged in the second round which started in October 2013. They are Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Rwanda, Sao Tome-et-Principe, The Gambia, Togo and Uganda.

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