An African Institute for Lifelong Learning will be set up, at the proposal made by King Mohammed VI at the opening of the UNESCO’s 7th International Conference on Adult Education (CONFINTEA VII), held in Marrakech under the theme “Adult learning and education for sustainable development – A transformative agenda.”
A convention on the creation of the institute was signed on Wednesday, on the sidelines of the CONFINTEA VII.
The proposal to set up an African Institute for Lifelong Learning was made by King Mohammed VI in a message he addressed to CONFINTEA VII, the aim being to strengthen South-South coordination and cooperation in the field of adult learning and lifelong education.
The King explained that this institute would serve as a regional capacity-building center for regional stakeholders, institutions and organizations operating in the field of lifelong learning. The institute “would facilitate the exchange of success stories as well as the sharing of knowledge and experiences in the field of adult learning and education, especially at the level of African learning cities, and the promotion, through them, of cooperation relations with similar cities around the world,” he said.
Under the convention, the institute is tasked with developing and building the capacity of institutions, actors and partners on lifelong learning, in particular on learning cities, sharing of knowledge, resources and tools on learning and adult education, as well as the development of exchanges and cooperation between African learning cities.
“This institute translates the Guidelines of His Majesty King Mohammed VI regarding the creation of an organization that is involved in the African Continent in terms of adult education and lifelong learning,” stressed Moroccan Education Minister Chakib Benmoussa in a statement to the press, on the sidelines of the signing ceremony of this convention.
The innovation in this approach is to rely on a set of organizations that already exist in Morocco and in the rest of the Continent, and which operate today in the field of adult education and lifelong learning, noted the Minister, stressing that these organizations “can, by pooling their know-how and sharing innovative practices, create an exchange between African countries and set up training by peers, in order to support, at the lowest cost and in a flexible manner, the needs expressed in this field in many African countries.”
In his message to the Conference, the King also proposed the adoption of a new framework, the Marrakech Framework for Action.
This Framework should provide guidance for adult learning and education into the next decade. It should serve as a reference document and roadmap for the coming 12 years, putting adult learners at the heart of education policies and enshrining the principle of lifelong learning as a key lever for the accelerated achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, the royal message stated.
Conscious of the need to strengthen and coordinate follow-up to the implementation of the Marrakech Framework for Action directives, and in order to keep up the momentum created by this international conference, the Kingdom of Morocco proposes the setting up of a post-CONFINTEA VII ministerial committee. It would meet once a year and make sure all the recommendations made by the conference are actually implemented, especially at the regional level.