In the context of increasing global inequality, climate crises, continuing gender inequality, and the opportunity provided by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) processes, participants from 9 African countries and Sweden, met in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania from 5-8 March 2019, at a workshop entitled ‘Leave no one behind: Making the right to education for adults a reality’.
The workshop was co-hosted by Karibu Tanzania Organisation (KTO), Folkhogskolornas Service Organisation (FSO) and International Council for Adult Education (ICAE) (Africa Network). It was supported by the Swedish International Development Agency through KTO.
It was a small workshop with a limited budget which aimed:
- To enhance possibilities for Adult Learning and Education (ALE), to be identified as integral to the achievement of Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);
- In particular, to enhance the possibility that the education of girls and women contributes to attainment of SDG 5, the attainment of Gender Equality, within a lifelong learning framework as articulated in SDG 4;
- To build strong relationships among Swedish Folk High Schools and Southern African organisations, and among African adult educators themselves under the umbrella of the ICAE, in order to enhance ALE practices.
The workshop encouraged participation through: use of participatory methodologies, a field trip to Kisarawe Folk Development College, various special task groups, participant leadership in various sessions etc.
The outcomes included:
- A Workshop Statement which is to be circulated as widely as possible (featured below and attached)
- Commitment by African participants to build the ICAE Africa Network through: engagement with the ICAE Executive; discussions with organisations in home countries, in order to help ensure a successful virtual ICAE General Assembly which is to be held in early 2020; discussions with the wider ICAE Africa Network; collaborations; and dissemination of the Workshop Statement.
- Partnership development amongst African countries themselves and with Swedish Folk High Schools.
This was a very productive workshop with excellent support from KTO staff, the successful working together of the three hosting organisations, the participation of Tanzanian Ministry of Education and other local organisations, the support from SIDA, and active, enthusiastic participation from delegates.
Tanzania celebrates 50 years of adult education next year which includes long term partnerships between Swedish Folk High Schools and Tanzanian Folk Development Colleges. As Budd Hall, first general secretary of ICAE commented recently, “The year I went to Tanzania was 1970, it was Adult Education Year! In 1971 I was fortunate to be at the meeting between Paulo Freire and Mwalimu Nyerere….They got on very well. Of course our first ICAE global assembly of adult education took place in 1976 in Dar with Nyerere doing the keynote and becoming our (ICAE’s) first Honorary President”.
We very much hope that this is a time of revitalisation of Adult Learning and Education (ALE) in Africa!