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ANCEFA clocks 10 years

ANCEFA is this year celebrating ten years of existence since its inception in 2000 in Abuja that came up with the now well known “Education for All Framework for Action”.

Currently the Board, staff and members of ANCEFA are preparing for big celebrations expected to take place back to back with the membership General Assembly in 2012.

Old (L) and New (R) ANCEFA Logos

Over the ten years ANCEFA has been focusing its work in establishment of national education coalitions across Africa, capacity building of the coalitions in budget tracking and evidence based advocacy, and coalition governance skills. The network has also been monitoring and advocating for increased political will and investment for realization of education for all goals in Africa.

There are a lot of successes ANCEFA has achieved over the years. They include successes in growth of the network, successes in capacity building of civil society, and successes in EFA advocacy which have seen marked increase in school enrolment and reduction of illiteracy levels across Africa.

With regard to network growth ANCEFA network membership has grown from 19 at the inception to 35 in 2011. The target is to be present in all the 53 countries in Africa.

ANCEFA has also grown in terms of governing structures. From being managed by a Steering Committee composed of sub regional moderators, the network now has a fully fledged Board with ten members drawn from among network members and educational experts in Africa.

The Secretariat of ANCEFA has grown from being a one man show in 2003 to around 15 international staff with offices in Dakar, Senegal being the Regional Secretariat; Lome, Togo which coordinates West and Central Africa; Lusaka, Zambia coordinating Southern Africa; and Nairobi, Kenya, Coordinating Eastern Africa.

In terms of accountability, ANCEFA produces regular annual activity and financial reports as well as audit reports, and has consistently managed to hold Annual General Assembly every two years. There have also been policy changes resulting in development of new constitution, and adoption of a new logo to improve branding.

On the program side, ANCEFA continues to build the capacity of its members in budget tracking, evidence based advocacy, research, and governance through regular capacity building trainings as well as development of toolkits and reports, and through financial and technical support.

ANCEFA has been able to grow due to strong partnerships and networks it has established over the years with donors, international organizations and governments.

Results of EFA monitoring and advocacy are slowly showing on the continent. Many countries have come up with education sector plans which have integrated the EFA framework, many countries have embraced free primary education, and investment in education has doubled since 2000.

Consequently, net enrolment ratios have moved from 68 per cent in 2000 to 90 per cent in 2010 as primary completion rates have increased from 37.6 per cent to 58 per cent over the same period.

Challenges still continue to ensure universal primary education by 2015. Most governments are failing to invest at least 9% of their GDP to education. Poor investments entails that many marginalized children are denied of education especially girls, children with disabilities, and children wrecked by conflicts, wars, and suppression of human rights and freedoms in autocratic and military regimes. Corruption is rife in all African states, meaning that even fewer resources are reaching schools.

The revelations presented in the UNESCO GMR 2011 of high illiteracy in Africa 10 years after Dakar aren’t acceptable.

It is not acceptable that 43% of the 67 million worlds out of school children (around 28.8 million), are in Sub Saharan Africa and over 60% are girls. It is not acceptable that Africa is home to nearly 160 million illiterate adults. It is unacceptable that quality of education is poor in almost all the 53 countries in Africa. This is a big challenge for ANCEFA.

Other challenges of ANCEFA are institutional. These include the need to continue with capacity building programs of its members, the need to address governance challenges among members, and the need to raise adequate finances for evidence based advocacy programs to promote EFA.

To respond to these challenges ANCEFA has developed a five year strategic plan (2010-2014) whose main themes are campaigning for increased financing for inclusive education, promoting national accountability, campaigning for better quality teaching and learning , and institutional strengthening of civil society organizations.

ANCEFA requires financial support amounting to US$13 million in order to successfully implement its strategic plan. You can make a big difference with any donation you can make to ANCEFA for the cause of EFA in Africa.

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