The Ambassador of Ireland to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union, Her Excellency Ambassador Nicola Brennan, received in her office in Addis Ababa on Tuesday, 11 April 2023, a delegation of the Coalition on Media and Education for Development Africa Forum (CAFOR) led by the Executive Director, Dr. Lawalley Cole accompanied by the Senior Advisor, Mr. Tshimanga Mukadi-Mutoke. Also present was Ms. Deirdre Toomey, Deputy Head of Mission to the African Union.
In his introductory remarks, Dr. Cole made an extensive presentation of CAFOR, a non-profit membership organization hosted by the African Union to support the African Union’s Department of Education, Science, Technology, and Innovation.
He further discussed CAFOR’s ten flagship projects aimed at Transforming Education in Africa with Digitalization. The Executive Director first outlined CAFOR’s four flagship project concepts: the African Digital School Initiatives, the Digital Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET), the Digital Library, and the African Learning Platform. He also spoke about the other CAFOR priority projects, including, among others, a project on Quality Education, a project on Africa’s Street Children, a project on Innovative Skills Development for Africa’s youths, and a project on education in countries emerging from conflicts or crises.
The Executive Director also indicated that CAFOR intends to open five regional African representations within Africa, one each in Europe and the Americas for the African Diaspora.
Dr. Cole also noted that, while looking forward to forging a partnership with Ireland, CAFOR is currently working to collaborate with various other partners. These include the Education Above All of Qatar, UNESCO International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa (IICBA), African Capacity Building Foundation, (ACBF), UNICEF, the University of Pécs in Hungary, the European Business University in Luxembourg, and the Association of Universities and Polytechnics in Africa, (ATUPA), among many others.
The Irish Ambassador, Her Excellency Nicola Brennan, is mainly overseeing the international Irish Aid programs to overcome poverty, providing social protection and humanitarian support to the United Nations System. Ireland focuses on tackling hunger and under-nutrition, while improving maternal health, and reinforcing civil society to respond effectively to the challenges of climate change on the most vulnerable groups.
The Irish Ambassador also stressed that her Embassy also strengthens cooperation relations with Ethiopia, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and the African Union, with whom the Irish Embassy supports the AU Commission’s Office of the Special Envoy on Women in Peace and Security, Governance, Education, Social Delivery, and Gender Equality.
Ireland’s Permanent Representation to the African Union also provides and contributes in various other areas, including political analysis, enhancing governance, humanitarian action, and economic development. The Embassy collaborates closely with the African Union’s Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy, and Sustainable Environment (ARBE).
Ambassador Nicola concluded that her Embassy would look forward to working with CAFOR.