Education

Education and training are among the first Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) defined by the United Nations in 2015. AFD takes action in the field, alongside its partners, to ensure access to quality education for all: from primary school to higher education, from vocational training to employment.
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Young girls at the Amoronimania public school , Madagascar
Youth at the heart of development
Young girls at the Amoronimania public school , Madagascar

Improving access to education

A little girl closes the classroom door in Uganda

Improving access to education

First the good news: thanks to the concerted action of developing countries and the international community, net primary school enrolment around the world rose from 84 to 91% between 1999 and 2014. In spite of this, however, over 57 million children and 69 million adolescents, mainly girls and children living in rural areas, still did not have access to effective basic education (primary and secondary school) in 2014. There are many reasons for this: high population pressure and persistent inequalities related to gender, age, territories, ethnicity and disability. 

AFD works to facilitate access to basic, universal, equitable and valuable education for all. Its action targets: improving the quality of teaching, school curricula and vocational training, and working on training and professionalization for teachers, head teachers and supervisory staff.

Strengthening vocational training systems

National Institute of Judicial Training of Côte d'Ivoire

Strengthening vocational training systems

We can see from the example of Asian countries: technical vocational education and training (TVET) is essential for the economic development of countries. However, it remains the poor relation in sectoral policies in a number of countries, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa: lack of equipment and qualified trainers, outdated curricula and equipment, insufficient budgets… The result: training remains largely confined to poor quality informal learning.  

AFD helps the least developed countries increase the level of technical and vocational education. It improves the quality of curricula and ensures they match the needs of the labor market. To do so, it diversifies the range of educational provision and creates high-level vocational training centers. AFD’s approach pays special attention to courses in the agricultural sector – an economic pillar in many developing countries.  

Promoting employment and integration policies

Infotep, vocational training in Dominican Republic

Promoting employment and integration policies

It is a fact: countries which invest the most in employment see their standard of living increase more rapidly. This is shown by the findings of a study of the past twenty years commissioned by the World Bank (4). However, 201 million people around the world were still unemployed in 2014, a situation which affects over a third of the young population. One particularly alarming phenomenon is the increase in the number of adolescents Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET), which reached 260 million in 2015.

AFD helps developing countries promote job creation policies and private sector participation. It develops dialogue with all stakeholders, with the aim of improving working conditions, improving knowledge of labor markets, and developing programs which meet the needs of territories. It establishes lifelong learning systems.

Overhauling higher education

Truong Quoc Vi, student at the Industrial university of Ho Chi Minh city

Overhauling higher education

There are some 200 million students around the world, 50% of whom are women, a figure which has doubled in 15 years. These dynamics can be seen in all parts of the world, including in Africa, despite the fact that only 8% of young people achieved this level in 2014, when the global average stood at 34%. The challenge lies in managing the explosion in student numbers. 

AFD supports its partners’ initiatives to develop higher education provision that is more equitable, of better quality and more in line with the labor market. It supports industry sectors which have strong potential for occupations of the future and ensures there are exchanges between the sectors of higher education, research, innovation and the private sector.

2.5
billion euros committed by AFD since 2000
1
million children enrolled in school every year
13,0000
young people in training every year

AFD’s action is based on the fact that youth is a great asset and knowledge is today widely shared and accessible to the vast majority of people. At the same time, new forms of work are being created, alternative development models are being established, and civil society is having greater influence in the public debate. AFD supports and assists these movements via education, training and employment.

With EUR 326m, i.e. 70% of the budget AFD earmarks for this sector, Sub-Saharan Africa is the main region to benefit from our financing. 

On the economic front, education and training are essential investments for building green economies, which are prosperous because they are inclusive, dynamic, competitive, diversified and innovative. 

On the environmental front, one of the potential avenues for the future of education, training and employment lies in new energy and digital technologies. They will also ensure the transition towards a low-carbon economy, which the United Nations is calling for with the SDGs.
But education and training issues go well beyond the economic aspect. We know that education and training reduce inequalities – a breeding ground for the feeling of exclusion and factors which fuel crises –, while strengthening social cohesion and increasing resilience. They provide a common foundation on which the sense that everyone has of belonging to society is built. 
 

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Evaluation document

Evaluation of AFD‘s Sectoral Intervention Framework (SIF) on Education, Training and Employment, 2013-2015

AFD‘s Sectoral Intervention Frameworks (SIF) are reference documents that plan and steer work in a given field over a period of three to five years, in addition to providing ...
Oct 2016
Evaluation document

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Since the Paris Declaration, the topic of “capacity development” has gained considerable momentum in the reflection on Official Development Assistance (ODA). The international community had previously relied on heterogeneous practices ...
Jun 2012
Research document

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Arab-Islamic education in general, and Koranic schools in particular, are still largely excluded from programs advocating for education for all in Africa. Consequently, recognizing its existence, its importance and its ...
Jan 2018
Research document

Linkages between Education and Fertility in Sub-Saharan Africa

This paper explores linkages between women’s education and fertility in sub-Saharan Africa, using DHS data from about 30 countries. There are three substantive sets of analyses. First, we shed light ...
Nov 2017
Research document

Does one size fit all? The impact of cognitive skills on economic growth

This paper tests for heterogeneous effects of cognitive skills on economic growth across countries. Using a new extended dataset on cognitive skills and controlling for potential endogeneity, we find that ...
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Research document

An Application of the Alkire-Foster’s Multidimensional Poverty Index to Data from Madagascar: Taking Into Account the Dimensions of Employment and Gender Inequality

In this study, we build what we call the Malagasy Multidimensional Poverty Index (MALAMPI), which is an augmented-MPI. Here, in addition to the standard MPI dimensions (health, education and living ...
Apr 2017
Institutional document

Strategy Education, training, employment 2016-2020

A new cycle of international mobilization is opening in 2016. However, the world is changing, and newscasts remind us that the persistent imbalances in various regions of the planet have no ...
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Kenya: a bright couloured school start

In Kisumu, the third most populated city in Kenya, pupils and teachers in the Angira school could not wait a second more: walls were crumbling, classrooms were on the verge ...
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Mozambique: children dare to dream big

In Mozambique, AFD and the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) are banking on education. The country inherited a deteriorated education system because of the civil war. In 1992, one child in ...
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Improving the employment of young people and women in a context of crisis in Lebanon

In Lebanon, AFD and the NGO IECD (“Semeurs d’Avenir”) are not only trying to teach young people a trade, they are promoting the togetherness. Lebanese society has not totally ...
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