AKWABA TO COTE D’IVOIRE
Côte d’Ivoire is honoured to be hosting the Second African Ministerial Forum on ICT Integration in Education and Training. The theme of the event is “Advancing inclusive knowledge societies in Africa to implement Africa’s Agenda 2063 and the SDGs”. It is a unique opportunity to share experiences and good practices with a view to developing new ways of incorporating ICT into our education and training initiatives.
The mobilisation of the Government of Côte d’Ivoire as well as the entire country’s educational community clearly reflects the importance we give to this issue.
My country is thus resolutely committed to being involved in this collaborative process.
As we all know, in the current global context, information and communication technologies are absolutely vital and ICT proficiency is a prerequisite for personal and collective development everywhere. ICTs are nowadays used in all fields of activity and they make a positive contribution to economic growth as well as improving citizens’ quality of life in our respective countries.
However, we must pursue our determined efforts to popularize the use of these new means of communication and information. For my part, I clearly share the opinion of those who believe that ICT is the last chance for our countries to achieve an acceptable level of development and to close the gap with the countries of the North.
In order to provide Africans with fair access to ICT tools, our governments have decided to adopt active policies to pursue the digital transformation of all aspects of our societies. I am very pleased that this is the case and would like to express my infinite gratitude to the executives of the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) for contributing to this process by designing, developing and helping to deliver new education and training opportunities.
I am particularly grateful that the executives of this international association have chosen Côte d’Ivoire for this major forum, which is the second of its kind. Indeed, it comes at a highly opportune time because it boosts the regional policy dialogue mechanisms pioneered by ADEA, AfDB, UNESCO and their partners.
It is effectively a platform to help member states draw optimal advantage from ICT with a view to ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education as well as promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all, in accordance with Goal no. 4 of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This imperative is also included in the objectives and priority fields of the Continental Education Strategy for Africa 2016-2025 (CESA 16-25), which was adopted in 2016 as a framework for transforming education and training systems.
This forum in Abidjan will help to foster the effective inclusion of ICT in education and training in Africa as well as the requisite paradigm shifts in terms of design, development and long-term implementation of policies and strategies. It will also be necessary to:
- emphasise the important role education and ICT play in the development of a knowledge society;
- share knowledge and experiences regarding skills development in the digital field in order to promote youth employment and entrepreneurship;
- develop a network involving the public sector (ministries, education and training systems, and the Regional Economic Communities - RECs);
- propose strategies to help tackle the severe lack of access to learning opportunities within African societies (the contrast between urban and rural areas, women and other marginalised groups) by identifying transformative experiences and lessons learnt;
- promote public-private partnerships (PPPs) between governments, educational services, the content development sector and private sector;
- establish a dialogue on the best ways of encouraging the development of innovative initiatives and approaches aimed at encouraging the inclusion of ICT in education and training in Africa.
These are just some of the issues that make this event absolutely fundamental, and I have no doubt that the panellists who are delegates of the governments here represented as well as the experts invited, will give the best of themselves to ensure that this occasion leads to the development of the roadmap we need, in order to achieve the aforementioned objectives.
Minister of National Education, Côte d'Ivoire