children in classroom Gianluigi Guercia/AFP/Getty Images

The Path to Universal Education

Even as many low- and middle-income countries have stepped up their commitment to improving and expanding education opportunities, the sector has remained chronically underfunded. An International Finance Facility for Education could be the key to changing that.

DAR ES SALAAM – It may be true that every journey begins with a single step. But when it comes to education, especially in low- and middle-income countries, we have a long way to go. Fortunately, many efforts are now underway to help these countries cover the distance and reach the Sustainable Development Goal of ensuring quality education for all by 2030.

As a special envoy for the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity, I have led high-level delegations to 14 countries across Africa. On those visits, I witnessed firsthand the commitment of the continent’s leaders to undertake reforms and boost investment in education.

But if the SDG on education is to be achieved, African leaders’ commitment must be matched by commensurate support from the international community, potentially through an International Finance Facility for Education (IFFEd). As matters now stand, the international community is falling short in this area – particularly when it comes to financing.

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