Partners Join Hands to Advance SDG4-Education 2030 in West and Central Africa

UNESCO in consultation with UNICEF, UN Women and other partners launches the West and Central Africa (WCA) Regional Coordination Group on SDG4-Education 2030. This group brings together a wide range of intergovernmental and civil society organizations active in education development in the WCA region.

On 19 May 2016, UNESCO Regional Office in Dakar convened the inaugural meeting of the WCA Regional Coordination Group. In attendance at this meeting were representatives from a number of the regional representations of the UN and other multilateral organizations, such as UNICEF, UNHCR, UNWomen, Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE), Save the Children, Conférence des ministres francophones de l’éducation nationale des pays ayant le français en partage (CONFEMEN) together with Programme d'analyse des systèmes éducatifs de la CONFEMEN (PASEC), Conférence des Ministres de la Jeunesse et des Sports (CONFEJES), Conseil Africain et Malgache pour l'Enseignement Supérieur (CAMES), Réseau pour l'excellence de l'enseignement supérieur en Afrique de l'Ouest (REESAO), Handicap International, together with the UNESCO team based in Dakar (UNESCO Dakar Office, UNESCO Institute for Statistics and IIEP-Pole de Dakar). This mechanism has been established as a follow-up to the Regional Consultation on the Education 2030 Agenda for West and Central Africa (November 2015).

Participants agreed on the need for strong regional collaboration, cooperation, coordination and monitoring in support of national education development, reviewed the recommendations of the Education 2030 Framework for Action “Towards inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning for all”; and discussed the ways and means to operationalize an effective coordination mechanism in the West and Central African region. “We agreed to work together towards establishing workable Terms of Reference for the SDG4 WCA Regional Coordination Group and implementing appropriate activities in pursuit and support of the integration and implementation of the Education 2030 agenda in all countries of the West and Central African region, taking into consideration their development contexts and aspirations, and in collaboration/synergy with the East and Southern African (ESA) Region”, participants concurred.

Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 – Education 2030

Recognizing the important role of education as a main driver of sustainable development, the international community adopted a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with the fourth goal devoted to education. SDG4, “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”, and its corresponding targets constitute the core of a single, renewed education agenda that is holistic, ambitious, aspirational, transformative and universal, leaving no one behind. It attends to the ‘unfinished business’ of the Education for All agenda and education‐related Millennium Development Goals, and further stresses the need to scale up efforts towards improved access, equity and inclusion, quality and learning outcomes, within a lifelong learning approach.