UIL presents its work with Africa


UIL’s Family Literacy and Learning project in the Gambia
20 June 2019

The UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) presented its work to the Permanent Delegates of African Member States at UNESCO in Paris today.

UIL Director Mr David Atchoarena described the planned and ongoing work of the Institute in Africa and stressed the importance of UIL’s close cooperation with African countries, particularly in supporting them to attain the ambitious targets of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4.  

Much of UIL’s work in Africa focuses on the promotion of literacy through programmes that aim to tackle some of the critical challenges related to programme delivery, learning assessment and the promotion of a literate environment.

Illustrations of UIL’s approach include its family literacy programmes in Gambia and Ethiopia, the Action Research: Measuring Literacy Programme Participants’ Learning Outcomes (RAMAA) project, which works with 12 African Member States countries, and its support to community libraries in Uganda. Furthermore, UIL also facilitates peer learning, networking and capacity building through the Global Alliance for Literacy (GAL), which, out of 29 members, includes 18 African countries.

Mr Atchoarena also told delegates about UIL’s policy support in the context of SDG 4, noting the technical assistance recently provided to Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Uganda and Zambia to develop policies and plans in a lifelong learning perspective.

The meeting was chaired by Ambassador Hellen Gichuhi, the Deputy Permanent Delegate of Kenya to UNESCO.

Mr Atchoarena said: ‘It is a huge pleasure for me to have the opportunity to set out some of the highlights of UIL’s work in Africa. Africa is a top priority for UNESCO; and this is also reflected in UIL’s work to promote lifelong learning and strengthen the capacities of Member States in adult and continuing education, literacy and non-formal basic education.

‘Literacy is of critical importance in delivering the 2030 Agenda and SDG 4, in particular. Meeting these targets, and translating into reality the agenda’s central ambition to “leave no-one behind”, requires us to address the literacy needs of all, particularly women and the most vulnerable populations, in a lifelong learning perspective.’


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