This year’s figures of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Institute of Statistics indicate that more than half of the world’s 57 million out of school children are in Africa.
According to the Institute, the continent is also home of about 160 million illiterate adults, Mr Limbani Nsapato, Policy and Advocacy Manager and Regional Coordinator for Africa Network Campaign on Education For All (ANCEFA) stated this in Accra on Thursday.
He noted that in sub-Saharan Africa alone, about 10 million boys and girls also dropped out of school.
Quoting the UNESCO statistics at the opening of a two-day Regional Civil Society Workshop for Education Financing in Africa, Mr Nsapato said around 12.5 million out of the 27.5 million children were denied access to education due to conflicts in Africa.
Participants at the workshop, jointly organized by ANCEFA, IBIS, TJN-Africa and Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition (GNECC) would discuss findings of desk research on Education For All (EFA) status, and formulate advocacy strategies that seek to accelerate EFA’s progress at improving domestic financing through taxation in Africa.
They would come up with a road map for advocacy for increased domestic financing, especially through better tax administration in Africa.
Mr Chals Wontewe, Country Director, IBIS, commended Ghana for having made significant improvements in making education accessible to people.
Mr Wontewe, however, said the country was still far from achieving the objective of making education accessible to everyone, and giving everyone quality education.
He said efforts to improve both access and quality education in Africa had been very challenging, as assistance to Africa has declined in recent times.
Mr Wontewe urged the participants to work together across sectors so that collectively they could influence increased resource mobilisation in support of education financing.
Mr Leslie Tettey, National Co-ordinator GNECC, said the collaboration between ANCEFA, IBIS, TJN-Africa and GNECC would basically look at advocacy strategies that Civil Societies could employ, to ensure Africa’s education was on course, as far as taxation was concerned.
“Taxation is seen as a major source of domestic financing for development and we hope to use that as a tool to improve education in Africa”, he added.
Mr Johannes Chiminya, out-going Research Officer TJN-Africa, said taxation was the only visible way of financing education.
He noted that in order to exploit taxation as a sustainable source of financing quality education, there was the need for stakeholders, and more especially Civil Society Organizations, to advocate improved tax administration in their respective countries.