UNESCO and China join hands for Africa

A new UNESCO-China-Africa initiative is scheduled to take off in June 2013. Education specialists from Ethiopia, Namibia and Ivory Coast met on 11-12 April at UNESCO Headquarters to plan the implementation of the UNESCO-Chinese Funds-In-Trust (CFIT) programme, “Enhancing Teacher Education for Bridging the Education Quality Gap in Africa”.

Aiming to improve teacher training, including through the use of ICTs and mobile learning, the four-year initiative will boost national capacity in ministries and key teacher training institutions in eight African countries.

Ethiopia, Namibia and Cote d’Ivoire are the countries selected for the initial implementation phase. The remaining five countries will be selected subsequently, taking into account UNESCO’s programme priority countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Launched on 22 November 2012 at the close of the 2012 Global EFA Meeting (GEM) and validated on 17-18 December 2012, with representatives from the three countries mentioned above, the UNESCO-CFIT programme is carried out in the context of UNESCO’s new strategy on teachers and in the framework of South-South cooperation. It also marks the first time China has financed such an activity, and signals the beginning of a new partnership.

By enhancing quality education, the project is in line with UNESCO’s effort to support member States in accelerating the progress towards the Education for All (EFA) goals and the Millennium Development Goals, as well as the UN Secretary-General’s Global Education First initiative.