Education is key for human development and economic growth in Africa. It promotes national productivity and innovation and values of democracy and social cohesion.
Education for All (EFA) in Sub-Saharan Africa
Over the last two decades the international partnership for Education for All (EFA) has been a major driver of the World Bank's education strategy in Sub-Saharan Africa. Partners of this initiative comprise a broad coalition of international development agencies, civil society and national governments. As a key member of the Education for All Fast Track Initiative (FTI), which is the primary vehicle for accelerating progress on the six EFA goals, the World Bank in partnership with other donors focuses on providing the means for national governments to reach universal primary completion by 2015.
Country Leadership and Implementation for Results in the EFA Fast-Track Initiative
The World Bank actively contributes to fostering country leadership in the FTI process through the creation of a platform for national teams and donors to interact and share knowledge and experiences in the design, funding and implementation of education sector plans. Since 2007, the World Bank has organized workshops to actively develop cross-country learning and to strengthen partnerships and establish networks among education professionals working in the design and implementation of education sector plans in Africa.
Improving Education Management in African Countries Initiative (IEMAC/AGEPA)
The improvement of education management plays an essential role in achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Ensuring that resources are used as efficiently and equitably as possible, especially in settings with considerable resource constraints, is a key concern for countries reforming their education systems. In this context the AGEPA initiative seeks to assist Francophone countries in Africa in the design, implementation and evaluation of concrete plans to address specific management challenges in their primary education systems, and to condense lessons for broader replication.
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Secondary Education in Africa (SEIA)
Achieving the Education for All goals is crucial for attaining the Millennium Development Agenda (MDGs). Africa has experienced a rapid increase in enrollment rates and gross primary school enrollment reached 96 percent by 2004. The increase in enrollment has placed major pressure on many African countries to expand their post-primary sector.
The World Bank's Africa region focuses on taking stock of secondary education including issues of access, financing and quality and relevance. The goal is to promote dialogue within and between African countries while using the World Bank's leverage to provide the broader international donor community with informed choices for sustainable expansion of secondary education.
Leaders in Education and Training for Sustainable Growth (LETSGA)
The World Bank's Africa Action Plan supports the Millennium Development Goals while strategically complementing efforts of development partners. Policies in the education sector focus on supporting countries with their workforce development to meet the challenge of human and economic development. Increasing skill levels of Africans to innovate and develop small and medium enterprises and meet the needs of the private sector for a trained work force are key targets for the Africa region. The three-year initiative, involving African countries and the government of Singapore, is geared towards creating opportunities for exchange and knowledge transfer among policy makers on how investments in education and training can help to contribute to economic and social development.
Tertiary Education in Africa
Improving economic performance in Sub-Saharan Africa remains a core priority in the quest for breaking existing barriers to development progress within the region. Recent analytical work has helped to better understand the relationship between the potential for growth and the stock of human skills available in each country. This stock, in turn, is closely linked to the volume and quality of outputs in post-basic education, especially tertiary education and research. Consequently, building higher level skills in order to maintain competitiveness in an increasingly integrated global knowledge-based economy is of utmost importance for Africa’s development agenda.
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The World Bank’s Results Agenda
Since adopting the Comprehensive Development Framework in 1998 - the World Bank's policy on how it delivers aid to the countries with which it works - more emphasis has been given to the measurement of results of its lending programs in terms of how they impact people and their needs, rather than by measuring input levels. The World Bank’s Africa region has developed several tools to carry out this task.
Africa Results and Monitoring for Education
The Results Monitoring System for Education (RMS-E) bolsters the World Bank’s results agenda and ensures that outcomes are being monitored, captured and shared in a systematic and comprehensive fashion. The system’s objective is to distill lessons on development initiatives and to help direct future initiatives. It tracks progress of the World Bank’s Africa Action Plan (AAP), the Millennium Development Goals and the International Development Association (IDA).
Africa Impact Evaluation Initiative
The Africa Impact Evaluation Initiative is a program designed to mainstream rigorous impact evaluation in World Bank-supported operations, and to build government capacity for rigorous impact evaluation (IE). The Initiative works in collaboration with internal and external partners to implement thematic, country and sector approaches.
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