Dubai Cares launches education plan in Africa - GulfToday

Dubai Cares launches education plan in Africa


The programme will benefit educational institutions apart from students.

Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, announced on Tuesday a 2-year programme in sub-Saharan Africa to support the rapid growth of tertiary education and address the challenges of the tertiary and skills sector in Africa. This programme marks Dubai Cares’ first investment in tertiary education, thus reinforcing the organisation’s position as a key proponent of universal quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all. The Dhs5,510,250 programme, implemented in partnership with Education Sub-Saharan Africa (ESSA), is set to benefit students, graduates and educational institutions within the tertiary sector in a number of countries across the region. Preparatory work is under way in the first two target countries, Ghana and Uganda.

Titled “Improving the Systemic Effectiveness of the Tertiary Education Sector in sub-Saharan Africa,” the programme is set to enable ESSA to more broadly expand its reach to tertiary education. It focuses on four major areas including building the human capacity and capability in tertiary education; the employability of graduates from the tertiary education sector; leadership and managerial skills of tertiary education leaders; and knowledge transfer and practical adoption of best practice within the tertiary education sector.  Building upon the swift progress ESSA has made since starting  in 2016, this programme marks the next phase of an ambitious growth strategy.

Speaking about this strategic debut in tertiary education, Dr Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer at Dubai Cares said: “We are excited to announce our expansion into tertiary education, as we believe it is essential for growth, breaking the cycle of poverty and enabling individuals and communities to prosper. We believe this first ever intervention in  tertiary education by Dubai Cares will help connect students and graduates to employment opportunities and will be central to developing successful and sustainable economies and societies.

“It also represents a logical extension of our programming, which has been targeting young people, to now cover the third stage of education. This programme, which is in partnership with ESSA, presents an exciting opportunity for Dubai Cares to play a leading international role in contributing to the academic success of millions of students, boost employment in the long-term and help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in Africa.”

Commenting  on the announcement, ESSA’s Director Dr Olaf Hahn said: “The opportunity to make the nexus between education and work far more effective for Africa’s youth and its employers is considerable. Yet, there are huge challenges to be overcome. Having made swift  progress since our establishment in 2016 and with the people of Africa at the heart of all we do, we are delighted to be working with Dubai Cares to make a further significant contribution. We are also very pleased to welcome Dr Tariq Al Gurg,  Dubai Cares CEO, as a Patron of ESSA. His inspiring leadership, deep knowledge and relationships in the sector will be of tremendous help.”

With a population expected to grow by a further 1.3 billion by 2050 thereby requiring the creation of 800 million new jobs, it is estimated that 100 million additional students will join tertiary education in sub-Saharan Africa. This will place huge pressure on the tertiary education sector and calls for broad systemic changes to improve access to education, the efficiency in the delivery of knowledge, qualifications and skills, and to better align educational development with changing economies.

Since its inception, Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, has been working towards providing children and young people in developing countries with access to quality education through the design and funding of programmes that aim to be integrated, impactful, sustainable and scalable. As a result, the UAE-based global philanthropic organisation has successfully launched education programmes reaching over 18 million beneficiaries in 57 developing countries.

Dubai Cares is playing a key role in helping achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, which aims to ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning by 2030, by supporting programmes in early childhood development, access to quality primary and secondary education, technical and vocational education and training for youth and a particular focus on education in emergencies and protracted crises.

In the UAE, Dubai Cares engages residents through a series of volunteer, awareness and fundraising initiatives that are linked to its global mandate. These initiatives include the annual Walk for Education, Volunteer Emirates, Volunteer Globally and Ramadan Campaign.

Education sub-Saharan Africa (ESSA) was established in 2016 by founder and chair Patrick Dunne, a serial social entrepreneur and with significant support from the Robert Bosch Stiftung. ESSA’s vision is to see transformed educational outcomes in sub-Saharan Africa and it contributes to achieving this through joining up, informing, inspiring, focusing and increasing impact for those investing in education in sub-Saharan Africa.

ESSA has made great progress and is now broadening its initial focus on higher education to the tertiary sector more broadly and to the nexus between education and work in particular.

The charity’s ground-breaking work in transforming the accessibility and visibility of African research on education, supporting the development of high-quality capacity and capability in tertiary education and the creation of its Scholarship Impact hub are already contributing to transforming educational outcomes.

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