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Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, January 17 2019: The AUC Department of Human resources, Science and technology held a meeting with a high level team of officials from the government of Botswana, to start preparations towards the second Innovating Education in Africa Expo (IEA 2019). The two-day workshop is the first in a series of workshops in enhancing collaboration between the African Union Commission and the government of Botswana in preparation for the 2nd Innovating Education in Africa Expo, which will be hosted by the Republic of Botswana in August, 2019.

The Expo is an important new instrument for promoting the implementation of the Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA) in such a way that it contributes to achievement of the aspirations of Agenda 2063 of an integrated, prosperous, peaceful Africa driven by its own competent and empowered citizens.Innovation in education is paramount as education should remain relevant in the face of rapid societal changes and acts as a prerequisite towards achieving our Agenda 2063 vision of ‘The Africa we want’”, said Dr. Mahama Ouedraogo, Director Human Resources Science and Technology, African Union Commission in his opening address to the delegates.

Dr. Ouedraogo expressed gratitude on behalf of the Commission to the government of Botswana for its support and their readiness to host this important Expo. “Building on the success of the Innovating Education in Africa Expo 2018 held in Senegal, the African Union Commission is committed to working closely with the Government of Botswana and all key stakeholders towards establishing a multisectoral platform for experience sharing on relevant innovations that address education challenges in Africa”, said the director.

In her opening remarks, Ms. Helen Chilisa, the Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Basic Education of Botswana, expressed appreciation for the warm welcome accorded to her and the delegation at the African Union Commission. She noted that the government of Botswana is delighted to host this important event, and ready to offer support and work in close collaboration for ensuring eminent success of the Expo.

“There is need to get the whole education ecosystem right by embracing technological advancement and embedding ICT in our curriculums in schools at all levels. The IEA Expo provides a platform to engage in important debates and discussion on solutions to the full range of pressing education challenges with a diverse community of practitioners, innovators, policy makers, business sector and financiers committed to building strong prosperous and secure societies through leveraging on education innovation” said the Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Basic Education of Botswana.

The meeting discussed the draft Memorandum of Understanding that provides the framework for collaboration between the Commission and Botswana in hosting the IEA Expo. It was agreed that the 2019 IEA Expo will focus on ICT based innovations for improving education management, access, quality, inclusion and impact. The meeting also adopted a roadmap to ensure timely execution of activities, and for involvement of partner agencies in the Expo.

Innovating Education in Africa Expo was launched in 2018 with the aim of showcasing technical and social innovations in every area of education and training. The purpose of the event is to establish a platform for experience sharing on relevant innovations that address education challenges in Africa. It also aims at raising the visibility of the innovative practices in order that they can be supported, up-scaled, replicated or further developed for the betterment and improvement of our education sector in the continent; and to celebrate African education innovators. The Expo will bring together a diverse group of participants expected to broaden the education debate while focusing on critical opportunities and challenges around enhancing the competitiveness, productivity and efficiency of African education systems through innovation, said Dr. Ouedraogo in his concluding remarks.