Belgium invests 4m euros in education in Africa
Belgium has pledged 4 million euros to support education and training teachers in Africa as part of a European project initiative, Development Cooperation minister Caroline Gennez announced on Wednesday during a press event in Brussels.
The Belgian approach emphasises education on climate and gender equality, digitalisation and teacher training and retraining.
"Education is a human right and a fundamental part of sustainable development worldwide," said Gennez, of Flemish socialists Vooruit. "Thus, we are investing not only in children's education but also in their global future, especially for girls."
The results of investing in education go beyond schooling, she said. "Young people get the prospect of better employment and better wages, live healthier lives, marry later and do better at family planning," Gennez said. "Moreover, there is a deep and lasting impact on society: a lower mortality rate among mothers and children, fewer child marriages, more economic growth and a decrease in inequality."
According to a UNESCO report, investing in education for girls has a positive impact on prosperity and health and leads to a reduction in partner violence, among other things. The study also shows the key role teachers play in supporting girls.
The funding from Belgium will go to the European Global Gateway project Regional Teacher's Initiative Africa, which previously received 100 million euros of European support. Belgium, France, and Finland, among others, are "active partners" in the field. The event is part of the Belgian presidency of the Council of the European Union.
© PHOTO MONICA DALMASSO / HEMIS