Regional CONFINTEA VI Preparatory Conference in Africa
Adult learning and education in the African region is the focus of a UNESCO conference that will take place in Nairobi, Kenya, from 5 to 7 November 2008. Hosted by the Government of Kenya and organized in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, the UNESCO office in Nairobi, the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Education in Africa (BREDA) and the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning, the Conference will bring together delegations from 49 African countries, including some 20 ministers and vice-ministers of education and other representatives of governments and multilateral partners, regional NGOs, experts, representatives of universities and the media.
The Conference is one of five regional UNESCO conferences in preparation for the Sixth International Conference on Adult Education (CONFINTEA VI), which will take place in Brazil in May 2009.
Entitled “The Power of Youth and Adult Learning for Africa’s Development”, the Conference will look at issues, trends and challenges related to youth and adult education in the region. Relevant practices and innovations will be shared along with regional perspectives highlighting key issues and challenges.
Forty-nine out of the 53 UNESCO Member States in the African region have submitted national reports on the situation and development of youth and adult education. These studies will be included in a regional report to be prepared by the conference participants and presented at the global CONFINTEA VI Conference in Brazil in May 2009.
The draft regional summary report makes clear that adult learning and education have a huge role to play on the African continent challenged by poverty, the rapid growth in population, multi-ethnic, multilingual contexts, rural economy and high illiteracy rates. To improve the status of adult learning and education, it will require the commitment and energy of all countries in the region. The majority of these countries lack adult education policies altogether, or policies that conceive adult learning as broad, inclusive and multi-faceted.
Along with a comprehensive review of key issues and challenges in adult learning and education, the Nairobi conference will also propose forward-looking strategies and recommendations to renew policies and action.These strategies and recommendations will later inform the global CONFINTEA VI document.