In 2015 the international community through the United Nations adopted 17 new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) effectively replacing the 8 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) adopted in 2000. The SGDs will shape the agenda in the next 15 years until 2030. Goal 4 (SDG#4) focuses on education and aims to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”. Unlike the MDGs, the SDGs have expanded the education agenda from focusing on basic education to integrating all the education levels. In January 2016, heads of state of the African Union meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in January 2016, approved a new ten year (2016-2025) Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA).
The CESA replaced the plan of action for the Second Decade of Education for Africa (2006-2015), and it defines Africa’s education ambitions aligned to Africa’s Agenda 2063, which is a 50-year blueprint for transforming Africa’s socio-economic development. CESA trades with a mission of “reorienting Africa’s education and training systems to meet the knowledge, competencies, skills, innovation, and creativity required to nurture African core values and promote sustainable development at the national, sub-regional and continental levels”. CESA has 12 strategic objectives which cover all the sub-sectors of education from pre-primary level to tertiary level.
In the last quarter of 2017 professionals from the fields of education, communication, business, law, and development from across Africa put their heads together to establish a Coalition on Media and Education for Development Africa Forum (CAFOR). This initiative was informed by and is a direct contribution towards this adoption of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) -especially Goal 4- at the global level and the African Union’s Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA) 2016-25 at the continental level.
CAFOR will work with multiple stakeholders to ensure that the global and continental policy agendas are integrated into the country level developmental and sectoral strategies depending on the needs, priorities and context of each country.