Education in Africa is a major priority for UNESCO and the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL). UIL thus assists African UNESCO Members States in strengthening lifelong learning on the continent with a particular focus on youth and adults, and on policies and systems conducive to lifelong learning pathways. To achieve this, UIL provides targeted support in the areas of policy, research, monitoring, capacity-building, networking and advocacy.

From developing community libraries in Uganda to overseeing activities within the Global Alliance for Literacy (GAL), UIL’s programmes help African countries make lifelong learning a reality. Examples include:

  • the ‘Recherche Action: Mesure des apprentissages des bénéficiaires des programmes d’alphabétisation (RAMAA) literacy programme developed for Burkina Faso, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Senegal, Benin, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Togo, contributing to enhancing literacy in Africa;
  • UIL’s family literacy programmes in Gambia and Ethiopia;
  • the cooperation with representatives from ministries of education, related ministries and government agencies from Kenya and Namibia, focusing on the development of lifelong learning policies in these countries;
  • scholarship programmes supporting African researchers and education professionals from UNESCO Member States who work in the area of lifelong learning, with a particular focus on adult education and continuing education, literacy and non-formal basic education;
  • technical assistance for countries that participated in UIL’s CONFINTEA Fellowship programme, such as Ethiopia, the United Republic of Tanzania and Uganda, to support them in developing their national adult learning and education (ALE) infrastructure through community learning centres. Following requests from selected ministries, UIL will further assist African alumni countries in piloting and contextualizing a new international curriculum framework for the training of adult educators, and in developing mechanisms for strengthening national cooperations among ALE stakeholders;
  • a joint UIL IIEP online course on strengthening youth and adult learning in education sector plans within a lifelong learning perspective. Officials from Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria and Zambia took part in the online course in 2018;
  • the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities (GNLC), strengthening lifelong learning at the local level, with members cities from Cameroon, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria and Guinea.