Critical knowledge, skills and qualifications for accelerated and sustainable development in Africa

Resource type
Critical knowledge, skills and qualifications for accelerated and sustainable development in Africa
The major challenge of the 2012 ADEA Triennale will be to help African countries design and develop suitable and effective education and training systems that can help move the continent away from the struggle for subsistence and the spiral of poverty towards a process of sustainable transformation that reconciles economic growth with the pursuit of equity and the conservation of natural resources. In short, the aim is to enable Africa to “run while others walk”, while avoiding causing the same damage others caused when they were running. To achieve such a goal, the Synthesis Report recommends that a number of prerequisites should be met before the required reforms can be possible. They will succeed only if they look back at Africa’s past identity in order to take greater control over future choices, if they are based on a common vision of the future determined with all concerned stakeholders, and if they make education, training and employment central to current and future policies. The report then discusses the unprecedented efforts of public and private, African and international officials and stakeholders in order to formulate appropriate, concrete responses to the challenge of the Triennale, which is to “promote critical knowledge, skills and qualifications for Africa’s sustainable development”. These responses, categorized by sub-theme, may be summed up as follows. Sub-theme 1: building a common core of skills for all The education system should give people of all ages access to a common core of basic skills (cognitive, communication and learning-to-learn skills, personal and social development skills, etc.) to enable them to control their human, social and economic environment and develop responsible and active African citizenship. Sub-theme 2: mass development of technical and vocational skills Massive investment to raise training and qualification levels is urgently required in order to wage an effective war against unemployment and massive underemployment of youth and the low productivity of a largely informal economy. It is also necessary to invest in high-level qualifications in order to support and, if possible, anticipate changes and technological innovation and promote the badly-needed industrialization of the African economy. Sub-theme 3: building knowledge and innovation-based economies and societies in Africa R&D, knowledge and innovation have become the key drivers of output, economic competitiveness and development generally. Africa needs to catch up in this respect and, to this end, it must build its scientific development on indigenous African knowledge, use science and technology to strengthen education and exploit the current surge in information and communication technology as a driver of development. All this will be possible only if all African countries work towards the adoption of a continental pact for sustainable development.
Report Type
Synthesis Report
Ndoye, M., & Walther, R. (2012). Critical knowledge, skills and qualifications for accelerated and sustainable development in Africa [Synthesis Report].