Building peace in the minds of men and women

UNESCO’s ‘Addis Convention’ on higher education to enter into force

20 December 2019

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© UNESCO/Christelle Alix

Five new instruments of ratification were deposited for the Revised Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Certificates, Diplomas, Degrees and Other Academic Qualifications on Higher Education in African States (Addis Convention), adopted on 12 December 2014 in Addis Ababa. The event took place in the presence of UNESCO Director General Audrey Azoulay on 15 November 2019 during the 40th General Conference in Paris.

Bringing the total of ratifications to 13, the Addis Convention will now enter into force on 15 December 2019 and be bound for implementation at the national level by ratifying State Parties.

Beginning in 2018 with the first ratification by Togo, the other States Party to date are Burkina Faso, Congo, Djibouti, Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Mauritius, Mauritania, Senegal, Seychelles, South Africa, and the Holy See. The Convention establishes a legal framework for the fair and transparent evaluation of higher education qualifications in the African region to facilitate inter-university cooperation and exchange through the mobility of students, researchers and faculty.

Supporting academic mobility and exchange within the African States will not only strengthen trust and capacity building in the quality enhancement of institutions and systems, it will also provide a pivotal network for advancing the SDG targets for equitable access in the region.

Upon entry into force of the Addis Convention, a Convention Committee of States Party will be established and its inaugural meeting convened by the end of 2020. This body will be in charge of assisting and monitoring the implementation of the Convention, the establishment of subsidiary bodies and technical committees and the elaboration of implementation guidelines.  

UNESCO will continue working to assist the Africa region to implement and monitor the implementation of the Convention and to promote further ratifications to Member States in the region in synergy with the Global Convention and cooperation with States Party to other regional recognition Conventions.