Education International
Education International

Africa Conference demands OECD countries keep their promises

published 3 December 2010 updated 3 December 2010

Education union leaders at EI’s African Regional Conference have voted unanimously to adopt a resolution that demands OECD countries keep their promise of supporting programmes to achieve Education for All (EFA) goals.

Since 2000, many OECD countries have committed to deliver financial aid for education activities, at Dakar and the UN Millennium Development Summit, but with the economic crisis they have begun to roll back on those pledges.

The resolution passed by African delegates expresses concern that some countries, which had supported EFA goals through their overseas development aid (ODA) budgets, are now cutting back on those budgets or eliminating them altogether. In the case of the Dutch Government, it had decided to actively excluded education initiatives from receiving access to any funds from their reduced budget.

The resolution recognised the immense contribution that financial support for education development programmes have made to improve access to education, to alleviate poverty and to democratise social developments in Africa over the last decade.

While the resolution acknowledged the significant contribution of many governments to the development of education in countries that are trying to achieve the EFA Goals, it pointed out that they had not yet been achieved, nor and would not be achieved, without continued financial support from the ODA budgets of the countries concerned. It stated that the impact of the withdrawal of such financial support for the most effective programmes would be devastating for generations of children, women and illiterate adults, especially in Africa.

The Conference demanded in the resolution that OECD countries fulfil their promises and pledges made at the UN in New York and in Dakar to contribute to the achievement of the EFA and MDG goals so that the 75 million children who are out-of-school, the majority of whom are in Africa, may receive an education.

To read the letter EI General Secretary, Fred van Leeuwen, has sent to the Dutch Government challenging the wisdom of budget cuts to Education For All initiatives, please click here.