Agenda 2063: Education in Africa, a key to success, By Rahma O. Oladosu — Premium Times Nigeria

I believe one of the eas­i­est ways to push this Agen­da for­ward is through edu­ca­tion. Africa acknowl­edges the fact that social and eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment is not pos­si­ble with­out sub­stan­tive invest­ment in edu­ca­tion and research, espe­cial­ly at the ter­tiary level.

Over time, it has become imper­a­tive for Africa to map out a strat­e­gy of region­al coop­er­a­tion and inte­gra­tion and lay the foun­da­tion for sus­tain­able devel­op­ment. The estab­lish­ment of the African Union (replac­ing the Organ­i­sa­tion of African Uni­ty) has been a step in that direc­tion. The Union aims at achiev­ing greater uni­ty and sol­i­dar­i­ty and accel­er­at­ing the polit­i­cal and socio-eco­nom­ic inte­gra­tion of the continent.

In great efforts by the African Union to accom­plish what it has set out to achieve in mak­ing the con­ti­nent a bet­ter one, AGENDA 2063 was introduced.

Now, what exact­ly is agen­da 2063?

Agen­da 2063 is Africa’s blue­print and mas­ter plan for trans­form­ing the con­ti­nent into the glob­al pow­er­house of the future. It is said to be the continent’s strate­gic frame­work that aims to deliv­er on its goal for inclu­sive and sus­tain­able devel­op­ment and it is a con­crete man­i­fes­ta­tion of the pan-African dri­ve for uni­ty, self-deter­mi­na­tion, free­dom, progress and col­lec­tive pros­per­i­ty, pur­sued under Pan-African­ism and towards African Renais­sance. Agen­da 2063 encap­su­lates not only Africa’s Aspi­ra­tions for the Future but also iden­ti­fies key Flag­ship Pro­grammes which can boost the continent’s eco­nom­ic growth and devel­op­ment, and lead to the rapid trans­for­ma­tion of the con­ti­nent. It also iden­ti­fies key activ­i­ties to be under­tak­en in its 10-year Imple­men­ta­tion Plan, which will ensure that Agen­da 2063 deliv­ers both quan­ti­ta­tive and qual­i­ta­tive trans­for­ma­tion­al out­comes for Africans.

I believe one of the eas­i­est ways to push this Agen­da for­ward is through edu­ca­tion. Africa acknowl­edges the fact that social and eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment is not pos­si­ble with­out sub­stan­tive invest­ment in edu­ca­tion and research, espe­cial­ly at the ter­tiary level.

Get­ting an edu­ca­tion is not just a fun­da­men­tal human right, It is piv­otal to increas­ing employ­ment and income oppor­tu­ni­ties. It is fun­da­men­tal to break­ing the cycle of pover­ty. Edu­ca­tion is the key to unlock­ing the gold­en door of free­dom for all in Africa. It is the bedrock of social and eco­nom­ic development.

Edu­ca­tion is cru­cial as it is an invest­ment in human cap­i­tal. This yields tremen­dous ben­e­fits on many lev­els and spheres. It ben­e­fits the indi­vid­ual, fam­i­ly com­mu­ni­ty, and nation. Edu­ca­tion is a sus­tain­able means of alle­vi­at­ing pover­ty and bring last­ing change.

Con­se­quent­ly, to effect per­ma­nent change, any effort to bring last­ing change must include edu­ca­tion, in one way or the other.

Recent­ly, the exec­u­tive sec­re­tary of the Ter­tiary Edu­ca­tion Trust Fund (TET­Fund), Archi­tect Son­ny Echono, played host to a team from the African Union Com­mis­sion for Edu­ca­tion, led by Pro­fes­sor Mohammed Bel­hocine, the com­mis­sion­er for edu­ca­tion who came to the Fund on an impact­ful cour­tesy vis­it, which I was priv­i­leged to witness.

The Fund, gen­er­al­ly known for pro­vid­ing sup­port for research and devel­op­ment in ter­tiary insti­tu­tions in Nige­ria, revealed its readi­ness, through its man­age­ment, to forge a part­ner­ship with the Pan African Uni­ver­si­ty to push the African Union agen­da for­ward. Arc. Echono fur­ther said that the Niger­ian gov­ern­ment is actu­al­ly think­ing in the direc­tion of pro­mot­ing tech­nol­o­gy and is in the process of estab­lish­ing a nation­al insti­tute in Abu­ja, which will be a post-grad­u­ate insti­tu­tion for the pro­mo­tion of the tech­no­log­i­cal trans­for­ma­tion of the country.

I per­son­al­ly think this would be a plus for the edu­ca­tion sec­tor in Nige­ria, con­sid­er­ing the fact that there hasn’t been much atten­tion giv­en to tech­nol­o­gy in most of our ter­tiary insti­tu­tions recently.

The Pan African Uni­ver­si­ty (PAU) is the cul­mi­na­tion of con­ti­nen­tal ini­tia­tives of the African Union Com­mis­sion to revi­talise high­er edu­ca­tion and research on the con­ti­nent. Accord­ing to the African Union, the PAU will great­ly boost the pop­u­la­tion and reten­tion of high-lev­el human resources, along­side qual­i­ty knowl­edge out­puts and will attract the best intel­lec­tu­al capac­i­ty from all over the world.

For­tu­nate­ly, the Pan African Uni­ver­si­ty part­ner­ship with TET­Fund will most def­i­nite­ly yield pos­i­tive results with the lat­ter pro­vid­ing tremen­dous sup­port in terms of the con­struc­tion of more class­rooms, pro­cure­ment of lab­o­ra­to­ry equip­ment and all oth­er basic infra­struc­ture need­ed. This major devel­op­ment will pro­vide a con­ducive envi­ron­ment and enable stu­dent researchers to learn one or two things to attract val­ue. It will also be a huge oppor­tu­ni­ty for schol­ars to troop to the university.

With this, the goals of the African Union is being geared towards the right direc­tion with edu­ca­tion as an ear­ly foun­da­tion, encour­ag­ing research through the Pan African Uni­ver­si­ty and bring­ing young Africans togeth­er to study and con­duct research for about three to five years, and in the process they get to know each oth­er bet­ter in terms of their cul­tures, lan­guages and beliefs. And this will cre­ate the real momen­tum for Pan African­ism, and a step towards real­is­ing Agen­da 2063.

Rah­ma Olamide Ola­do­su writes from Wuye Dis­trict, Abuja.