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Africa is ushering into an era that most observers and pundits are predicting will determine its destiny as the continent of the future. But to fulfill this promised bright future, the continent has to come to terms with its education and training systems that are yet to fully shed the weight of its colonial legacy and its own tribulations as a relatively new political and economic entity and player in the world arena.

In the bid to “create” a new African citizen who will be an effective change agent for the continent’s sustainable development as envisioned by the AU and its 2063 Agenda, the African Union Commission has developed a comprehensive ten-year Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA 16-25).


This strategy is driven by the desire to set up a “qualitative system of education and training to provide the African continent with efficient human resources adapted to African core values and therefore capable of achieving the vision and ambitions of the African Union.


Those responsible for its implementation will be assigned to “ reorient 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”. The following guiding principles and pillars are articulated to guide the implementation of the Continental Strategy as reflected in twelve Strategic Objectives supported by specific areas of work as follows.


Guiding principles:

  1. Knowledge societies called for by Agenda 2063 are driven by skilled human capital.
  2. Holistic, inclusive and equitable education with good conditions for lifelong learning is sine qua non for sustainable development.
  3. Good governance, leadership and accountability in education management are paramount.
  4. Harmonized education and training systems are essential for the realization of intra-Africa mobility and academic integration through regional cooperation.
  5. Quality and relevant education, training and research are core for scientific and technological innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship.
  6. A healthy mind in a healthy body -physically and socio- psychologically- fit and well fed learners.


  1. Strong political will to reform and boost the education and training sector.
  2. Peaceful and secure environment
  3. Gender equity, equality and sensitivity throughout the education and training systems
  4. Resource mobilization with emphasis on domestic resources
  5. Strengthen institutional capacity building through
  6. Good governance, transparency and accountability
  7. A coalition of actors to enable a credible participatory and solid partnership between government, civil society and the private sector.
  8. Orientation and support at different levels and types of training
  9. The creation and continuous development of a conducive learning environment.


Srategic Objectives:

  1. 1Revitalize the teaching profession to ensure quality and relevance at all levels of education
  2.  Build, rehabilitate, preserve education infrastructure and develop policies that ensure a permanent, healthy and conducive learning environment in all sub-sectors and for all, so as to expand access to quality education
  3. Harness the capacity of ICT to improve access, quality and management of education and training systems
  4. Ensure acquisition of requisite knowledge and skills as well as improved completion rates at all levels and groups through harmonization processes across all levels for national and regional integration
  5. Accelerate processes leading to gender parity and equity
  6. Launch comprehensive and effective literacy programmes across the continent to eradicate the scourge of illiteracy
  7. Strengthen the science and math curricula in youth training and disseminate scientific knowledge and culture in society
  8. Expand TVET opportunities at both secondary and tertiary levels and strengthen linkages between the world of work and education and training systems
  9. Revitalize and expand tertiary education, research and innovation to address continental challenges and promote global competitiveness
  10. Promote peace education and conflict prevention and resolution at all levels of education and for all age groups
  11. Improve management of education system as well build and enhance capacity for data collection, management, analysis, communication, and use
  12. Set up a coalition of stakeholders to facilitate and support activities resulting from the implementation of CESA 16-25

CESA 16-25 is underpinned by communication, governance and implementation frameworks for its delivery at the national, sub-regional and continental levels. Since each area of interest mentioned in this CESA 16-25 either as a guiding principle, strategic objective or pillar may deserve a separate program if not a full implementation strategy, the strategy proposes that all stakeholders and actors be given freedom to act and take positive initiatives proactively. They will be all integrated within the framework of the coalition for education, training and STI using an approach that gives more visibility to actions undertaken on the continent in education and training. Some of the initiatives identified already include STISA - 2024, the Continental Strategy for TVET, education of the girl child, school feeding, school health, school administration or the teaching profession in terms of training and/or living and working conditions.


The Annual Continental Activity Report (RACA) suggested by the CESA 16-25 is intended to document activities, outputs, and results within the coalition at the national, regional and continental levels.

The tool will thus help to provide information on:

  • Who is who?
  • What is he doing?
  • Where? How? With whom?
  • What works well and why?
  • How to share all these experiences across the country, the region and the continent.


Download CESA 16-25

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