The processes for the registration of the African Education Trust Fund (AETF) founded by the Association of African Universities, the Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PACCI) and the African Private Sector Summit (APSS) has been initiated by the Steering Committee established by the three founding organizations. The AETF is set to raise funds to develop and strengthen a resilient African education system that produces the right skills set to transform Africa into an economic powerhouse through all forms of skills and infrastructural development. The biggest advantage and strength of the AETF as a Trust Fund is its ability to bring on board the private sector through PACCI, which is being connected to several African Chambers of Commerce.
The AETF seeks to raise billions of dollars mostly from the private sector, multilateral institutions, donor countries, individuals, and philanthropic foundations to support education in Africa through human capacity development, academic scholarships, development of responsive curricula in all disciplines, and infrastructural development in African higher education and technical and vocational education and training. The idea is to use education as the change agent under the Fund to prep young African minds to move towards controlling African resources for the continent’s own benefit including export. This is in tandem with and helps facilitates the achievement of the vision of a prosperous Africa as espoused under the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the overall goal of the African Union’s Agenda 2063.
The AETF Committee comprises eminent personalities drawn from academic and the private sector and selected on geographic and linguistic and global representation as well. It is chaired by Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, a former diplomat and Minister of Communication in Ghana. The 15-member committee has since its inauguration in March 2022 established five sub-committees to facilitate its progression. Its Legal and Constitutional Sub-Committee is tasked with the incorporation of the AETF, and the registration process is soon to begin. This will pave the way for the AETF to build the structures and operationalize the funding for the initiative.
Meanwhile, the Committee has empowered an AETF Technical Team headed by Prof. Goski Alabi, President of Laweh Open University in Ghana to join up with a team from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to help develop and propose Terms of Reference for prospective collaboration. The AfDB has also established an African Education, Science and Innovation Trust Fund (AESITF) which is set to roll out soon. Pending its formal registration and incorporation, the AETF Committee is approaching the AfDB from the technical point of view as a think tank, and would engage on a position of its strength, namely: a dedicated group of passionate pan-Africanists interested in building a strong educational sector for the continent; strong backgrounds of Committee members in academia, education policy-making, teaching/lecturing as well as knowledge of issues affecting students, teaching and in the classroom; potential for significant fund raising from the African and global private sector; and implied support from millions of businesses through their chambers of commerce, and support from some 400 African universities who are members of the AAU.
The unrelenting efforts of promoting the AETF has seen the Chair of the Committee, Dr. Spio-Garbrah, and the Chair of the APSS, Mr. Wendell Addy, making presentations and strong advocacy for support at the recently held Prosperity Africa conference organized by PACCI and UNECA in Botswana in May 2022. The two were also in Kigali, Rwanda in June this year to promote the “Private Sector Bill of Right for an Enabling Business Environment in Africa” which is also being rolled out under the AAU-PACCI-APSS partnership and stakeholders. Two other members of the Committee, Dr. Sam Ndoga and Dr. Jeannine Uwimana-Nicol joined them to hold discussions with different institutions and organizations in fostering relationships and on how Rwanda will participate in facilitating the validation of the Private Sector Bill of Rights and, equally importantly, to create more visibility on the AETF.
After its registration and a successful launch, the Steering Committee will move into full swing partnerships development, bringing also on-board philanthropists across the globe and Member States of the African Union through their respective Ministries of Education, and Industry/Labor/CSOs/Consumers.
Released by AETF Secretariat (1st July 2022)