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Addis Ababa, December 11 2018 – The Education Division under the Department of Human Resources, Science and Technology held a workshop of the coordinating agencies of the Thematic Clusters for the Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA 16-25) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 11th - 12th December 2018. The aim is to ensure that CESA implementation contributes to Agenda 2063. The purpose of the meeting was to review and reflect on the current practices in coordinating the work of the Clusters in implementation of CESA, discuss challenges and opportunities, and agree on the way forward to ensure deepening and widening of the impact of the work of the Clusters in Member States. The CESA Thematic Clusters were established in order to promote coordination and alignment of the work of key agencies working in education in Africa, and ensure alignment with CESA and Agenda 2063.

The meeting began with opening remarks by Head of Education Division, Dr. Beatrice Khamati Njenga. In her remarks, she reminded the meeting of the reasons why clusters were established to support the implementation of the various CESA Strategic Objectives by tapping into various stakeholder groups that exist on the continent, and build stakeholder ownership of the African Union Continental vision.

In their presentations, CESA Cluster Coordinators expressed appreciation for the opportunity to partner with the AUC. They cited as a common challenge, the limited knowledge by stakeholders of the continental frameworks and vision; and the gaps in intra and inter cluster communication. Clusters on Life Skills and Career Guidance, and on Curriculum have also recently been established. Significant progress was reported especially in the Clusters of Teacher Development; ICT in Education; Higher Education; Peace and Education; and Early Childhood Education and Care. The Association of African Universities Coordinator the Higher education Cluster has developed an e-course on Agenda 2063 and has established the AAU TV which all Clusters are invited to patronize. ICT in Education Cluster has organized several capacity building and networking events for Member States with the corporate sector, from which a number of concrete IT projects have been developed in Member States. The TVET Cluster comes together annually spearheaded by the AUC Youth Division for ‘Africa talks Jobs’ expo, where private sector have committed to support development of employability skills and entrepreneurship among youth. Save the Children International Coordinating the Peace and education Cluster has lobbied Member States to endorse and implement the Safe Schools Declaration and Guidelines to work towards ensuring the protection of education during emergencies. Cluster Coordinators submit reports to the AUC biannually, which are featured in the HRST Department Annual Report presented to Heads of State at the January Summit.
The AUC Education Division worked with AIMS to develop the CESA Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Platform (CESA MERP). The CESA MERP is a platform aimed at bringing all the stakeholders together in a seamless and transparent way, where there is maximum visibility of the activities of Clusters and all players within their Clusters. Each player is assigned specific “create, read, update and delete” privileges within the system based on their role in the cluster. The platform will be launched by June 2019.
Cluster Email Forwarders will also be used to facilitate exchanges with cluster members.

It was agreed that the Cluster Coordination meeting will be held yearly to review progress and share best practices in the Coordination of CESA Clusters. The next meeting will be held in April 2019, and all Clusters will participate in show-casing Education Innovations at the expo to be held in September 2019.
Present at the meeting were representatives from the Pan-African Institute of Education for Development (IPED), AU/CIEFFA, Pan African Virtual and e-University (PAVeU), ADEA, UNESCO-IICBA, Association of African Universities (AAU), Save the Children International, Africa Early Childhood Network (AfECN), AIMS, CEMASTEA, AFTRA, FAWE, Africa Curriculum Association (ACA), African Council for Distance Education (ACDE) and Commonwealth Association of Technical Universities and Polytechnics in Africa (CAPA).