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ECOWAS holds experts meeting towards harmonizing educational systems in the region

Being part of a larger plan to harmonize the educational system in Africa, education sector experts from ECOWAS member states have begun a meeting to review and adopt strategies for strengthening human capital based on knowledge-economy.

The strategies which are expected to be approved by the Ministers of education in the region, will be developed at the two-day experts meeting which began on the 21st of September, 2017 in Abuja, Nigeria.

Opening the meeting, the ECOWAS Commission’s Commissioner for Education, Science and Culture, Professor Hamidou Boly, highlighted the importance of harmonizing educational systems among ECOWAS Member States in order to develop the region in various sectors.

The Commissioner identified human capital based on knowledge-economy as a critical factor which will address the developmental challenges in the region brought about by the lack of requisite skills in several sectors. To achieve this he said, ‘We must move from physical and mineral resources to human capital’.

Also speaking during the meeting, a representative of the ECOWAS Parliament, Dr. Alieu Senghore, noted that ECOWAS being a 15 Member State Regional Economic Community, needs to harmonize its educational system.

He stated further that the ECOWAS Parliament has an important role to play in ensuring that the policies and strategies proposed by the experts are indeed passed into laws in Member States.

The representative of the African Union Commission (AUC) and the International Centre for Girls’ and Women’s Education in Africa (CIEFFA), Mrs. Yankoy Simone, also reiterated the AUC’s commitment to partner with ECOWAS in order to achieve its agenda 2063 which includes improving and harmonizing educational systems in Africa.

The experts will assess reports on the status of implementation of the equivalence of certificates and diplomas in the region, the ECOWAS Nnamdi Azikiwe Academic Mobility Scheme (ENAAMS), the World Bank program on African Centres of Excellence (ACE) and the ECOWAS Technical and Vocational Education and Training strategy document (ETSSIE).

Also attending the meeting of experts are representatives of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), Africa Network Campaign on Education For All (ANCEFA), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA).

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