Uhuru Kenyatta highlights education as key to Africa’s prosperity

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Uhuru Kenyatta highlights education as key to Africa’s prosperity

Former President Uhuru Kenyatta has underscored the vital role of education in Africa’s development, advocating for substantial investments in education and capacity building to secure a prosperous future for the continent.

“Education is the lifeline for our children to sustain themselves in the ever-changing global landscape,” Kenyatta remarked, noting the necessity of substantial investments in education and capacity building to achieve a better future for Africa.

The former President spoke yesterday during the 2024 Goodluck Jonathan Foundation (GJF) Democracy Dialogue in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria. This year’s dialogue, themed; “Functional Education and Effective Political Leadership as a Panacea to Africa’s Growth and Development,” brought together key political leaders, policymakers, and experts from across the continent at a discussion focused on the crucial role of education and the recruitment of effective political leaders in achieving the development goals of African nations.

During his tenure as President of Kenya, Kenyatta’s administration prioritized a 100% transition program from primary to secondary education, ensuring equal learning opportunities regardless of socio-economic background. He also spearheaded digital literacy initiatives, establishing ICT laboratories and centers to integrate Kenyan children into the global digital revolution.

“Our vision and goal was to ensure that every Kenyan child had the same opportunity,” he affirmed.

Founded in 2015 by former Nigerian President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, the foundation promotes democracy, peace and transformational change in Africa.

Goodluck echoed Kenyatta’s sentiments noting that education is the bedrock of any nation’s development. “Without a strong educational foundation, we cannot expect sustainable growth,” Jonathan stated.

He highlighted the importance of quality education in fostering democratic values and political stability in Africa. Key note speaker Prof. Olubayi Olubayi, a renowned educationalist, emphasized the transformative power of education.

“Functional education is not just about academic knowledge; it is about developing critical thinking and leadership skills that are essential for our future leaders,” Olubayi remarked.

He urged policymakers to invest in educational reforms that align with Africa’s unique challenges and opportunities.

Other notable speakers who addressed the caucus included Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki, G. Balasubramania, Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, and Dr. Nevers Mumba, former Vice President of Zambia, Sultan of Sokoto Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III and the head of the UNDP Sub-Regional Hub for West and Central Africa Njoya Tikum.

During the event, which is the third in the series, Kenyatta urged African leaders to prioritize education as the cornerstone for Africa’s future by intentionally empowering the youth hence envisioning a bright future for the continent driven by education and innovation.

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