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Taking the New Partnership for Africa's Development seriously - November 2002

6. Education
NEPAD's vision: NEPAD commits African governments to approach access to education as a right, and therefore places education in the context of social rights as an expression of transparent and accountable governance. Implicit in this understanding is a commitment to the UN Millennium Development goals of ensuring that boys and girls alike, everywhere, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling; and that gender disparity in all levels of education will be eliminated no later than 2015.

We simply add that the acute shortage of a trained workforce, the serious under-investment in education, literacy rates of less than 50% in many countries, the devastating impact of HIV/AIDS on the education system, and the importance to education to stemming the tide of HIV/AIDS, make a compelling case for the critical importance of education to sustainable development in Africa.

US responsibility: To support these educational aspirations, we note the following indicators for US policy:
  1. The US government will seek ways, including development assistance and, in particular, a substantial increase in assistance for basic education and vocational education, to support the educational agenda of African governments.

  2. The US government will oppose "user fees" for basic education, either directly or through international financial institutions.

  3. The US government will aggressively pursue debt cancellation as an avenue to increase revenue for education.

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