Promoting Localization and Finance in African Education: UN General Assembly Side Event Highlights

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) is a whirlwind of events, awe-inspired moments, and reconnecting with colleagues, both virtually and in person. This year, we had the privilege of co-hosting a side event that delved into the complex themes of localization and finance in African education. The event, co-hosted by the Age of Learning Foundation, was a remarkable journey into the world of education transformation and philanthropy. 

Our event aimed to acknowledge the critical role that philanthropy and finance play in strengthening the agency, ownership, and impact of local governments, civil society, and local community advocates involved in education transformation. It raised important questions about our individual roles as education development policymakers, funders, thought leaders, and practitioners. Do we have a responsibility to promote greater localization? Do the communities we serve need to change, or do we need to be changed by the communities we serve? 

One of the highlights of our event was the interactive case study, where we used our wealth of experiences to negotiate solutions and innovate new ones, all within the context of a fictitious country, Ukombe. This case study format was a refreshing departure from the typical UNGA week panels, and it allowed for meaningful and practical discussions. 

Nick Rodriguez, CEO of Delivery Associates, shared valuable insights into “deliverology”, emphasizing the art of implementation as a critical but often overlooked variable in achieving successful outcomes. The importance of ambition, focus, clarity, and urgency in implementation cannot be underestimated. 

We were also honoured to learn from Dr. Dzingai Mutumbuka, Zimbabwe’s first Minister of Education following independence. He reminded us that the localisation theme is not new and is a familiar challenge. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to improving learning, and local context matters. 

Our first-time co-hosting a UN General Assembly side event was a rewarding experience that allowed us to explore the crucial role of finance and philanthropy in education transformation. The event underscored the importance of localization and community-driven solutions in achieving equitable and quality education. We look forward to more interactive sessions and collaborative efforts in the future, as we continue our journey toward a world where local actors drive education improvement in Africa. 

 

Thank you to all the participants who made this event a success. We remain committed to the cause of education and the empowerment of local communities on their journey to equitable access to education