Youth and adult literacy rates in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) continue to stagnate despite claims of renewed commitment and coordinated action across the region. In fact, literacy rates grew by just six per cent between 1990 and 2011, and although one-seventh of the world’s population lives in SSA, the region accounts for nearly half of all youths and more than a quarter of adults globally who are unable to read and write. How can literacy rates in sub-Saharan Africa be improved and the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 and Agenda 2063 literacy targets be achieved? One way is to make use of the resources that exist across the region, including in higher education and distance learning.
To explore these possibilities further, the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) and the University of Nairobi have organized a sub-regional workshop in collaboration with the UNESCO Abuja Office and the UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa. Educational stakeholders from Kenya, Ethiopia and Nigeria will come together in Nairobi, Kenya, from 13 to 15 June 2017 to discuss ways to use and mobilize higher educational and distance learning assets, capabilities and networks created by transnational cooperation to further literacy teaching and learning. The aim is to engage and encourage higher education institutions, especially universities, to contribute to the revitalization and reorientation of the adult literacy agenda in their respective countries.