Hon. Kalu underscores the importance of education as a fundamental driver of development in Africa - AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARY NEWS



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Monday, June 24, 2024

Hon. Kalu underscores the importance of education as a fundamental driver of development in Africa

The Deputy Speaker of Nigeria’s House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Kalu has underscored the importance of education as a fundamental driver of development in Africa. He stated this on Monday while delivering his goodwill message at the opening ceremony of the 3rd Ordinary Session of the Sixth Parliament of the Pan-African Parliament in Midrand, South Africa.

The distinguished assembly included Excellency Hon. Chief Fortune Charumbira, President of the Pan-African Parliament, vice-presidents, distinguished members, diplomats, and other notable guests,

Honourable Kalu expressed his profound privilege to be given an opportunity to present a goodwill message at this significant session and conveyed special greetings from his colleagues at the Nigerian National Parliament, the Speaker of the Parliament, and the leadership of the Senate of Nigeria.

He congratulated President Charumbira and the other members of the Bureau on their re-election following an extraordinary session on 25 March 2024, highlighting it as a significant milestone emphasizing that their overwhelming re-election is a testament to their remarkable leadership and the confidence of the Pan-African Parliamentarians in their ability to fortify the institution's role within the African Union governance framework.

A focal point of Kalu's address was the session's theme, which aligns with the African Union's 2024 theme centered on education. The theme aims to build resilient education systems for increased access to inclusive, lifelong, quality, and relevant learning in Africa. Kalu underscored the urgency of this theme, noting that recent reports suggest a global education crisis, with Africa facing significant challenges in achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4) on education.

He emphasized that the Pan-African Parliament’s focus on education is timely and necessary for the continent's growth and development. He noted that Africa lags behind other continents in achieving SDG4 objectives, as reflected in the recent United Nations Continental Education Strategy (CESA) report. This highlights the need for immediate parliamentary intervention and a collective commitment to resourceful education policies.

Drawing from Nigeria's experience, Kalu shared how the theme resonates with legislative priorities under his leadership and aligns with President Bola Tinubu’s focus on education as a catalyst for economic development. He outlined various initiatives implemented in Nigeria, including the "Student Loan" scheme and comprehensive policy reforms aimed at improving access to quality education, skill development, and global competitiveness.

Kalu detailed the successes achieved in Nigeria, such as reducing the proportion of out-of-school children, enhancing completion rates, and improving access to primary and secondary education. He highlighted the importance of establishing a clear, data-driven mechanism for educational interventions and ensuring that these objectives are reflected in national budget priorities.

He concluded by expressing his anticipation for robust parliamentary deliberations on education and his hope that the outcomes would translate into tangible, achievable milestones and emphasized the need for inclusive growth and the eradication of multidimensional poverty and other economic challenges impeding access to quality education.


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