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Written Answers From UK Parliament
Monday, 6 October 2008
Africa : Education
(1) pursuant to the answer of 19 June 2008, Official Report, column 1184W, on UNICEF Go To School campaign, (1) what programmes his Department is funding to encourage increases in school attendances in African nations other than Sudan in 2008-09;
(2) pursuant to the answer of 19 June 2008, Official Report, columns 1167-8W, on Africa: females, what steps his Department is taking to support access to education of girls and women in Africa in 2008-09.
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The Department for International Development 's ( DFID ) work in the education sector in Africa is guided by the Millennium Development Goals ( MDGs ) which call for the achievement of universal primary education and for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. We plan to spend some £214 million bilaterally on education in Africa this year (2008-09). In addition, DFID provides core funding to a range of multilateral organizations who work to develop education in Africa . A large proportion of our bilateral support is routed through national budgets, notably in Nigeria , Ghana , Mozambique , Zambia , Kenya and Rwanda . This is in line with the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness which calls for 50 per cent. of bilateral assistance to be channeled through country systems by means of long-term general budget or sector support. There is a particular emphasis throughout our education sector programmes on increasing school attendance, and a key part of this is getting more girls into school.
During the visit of President Sarkozy earlier this year, we agreed to work jointly with France to help get 16 million more children into school in Africa by 2010. We have also committed £150 million to the Education for All Fast Track Initiative for 2006-8 to help countries speed up the implementation of their education plans. The Fast Track Initiative is supporting education work in 18 Africa countries.
There is still a long way to go to achieve these MDGs in Africa , but there has been some worthwhile progress. Free primary education has brought millions of children into school: in Zambia and Tanzania , over 97 per cent. of children are now enrolled, with equal number of girls. In Lesotho , Rwanda , Uganda and Malawi gender parity rates have reached 98 per cent. or more. In Ethiopia , our support helped one million more children to enter school in 2006. In Malawi , providing better toilet facilities in schools and support to teenage mothers has improved school attendance by girls.
Our current work in the education sector across Africa is set out in the following table.