Oslo, 7 July 2015
This morning, President Kagame attended the Global summit on Education for Development in Oslo, Norway. The event brought together Heads of State, ministers, heads of a number of UN agencies, civil society, international organizations and the private sector for a discussion aimed at mobilizing strong and renewed political commitment to reach the 58 million children who are still being denied their right to education, and to improve learning outcomes for those who attend school.
The summit started with a high-level conference launched by Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Foreign Minister Børge Brende, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai. This was then followed by a high level panel themed ‘Investment in Education’with President Kagame, UN Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown, and Chair of the Board of Directors at the Global Partnership for Education and Former PM of Australia, Julia Gillard.
President Kagame began by calling for the right approach to addressing the crisis:
“We must encourage local communities to be more actively involved in expanding access to education. In Rwanda, for example, local communities participated in building classrooms for the nine-year basic education programme that has now been extended to twelve years. In the process schools were built quickly and construction costs reduced by nearly a half. The resultant savings were invested in other equally important areas of education – we also made a close link between health and education sectors. Both must be given equal importance.”
President Kagame called on governments and the private sector to take a lead in investing in education as a key social sector:
It has largely been governments’ role, of course with the support of donors, to finance education. Governments’ role must continue and allocation to the sector has to increase. However, governments alone cannot sustain the momentum that is needed. That is why other partners must be brought on board to share the cost and benefits. After all, both private and public sectors gain from a knowledgeable and skilled labour force.
“The importance of accountability and governance is crucial to ensure resources are used effectively. The future prosperity of the global economy depends on the ability to recognize shared responsibility in providing quality education and act with new energy to invest in its provision.” President Kagame concluded
Participants at the conference included HRH Crown Prince Haakon prime ministers of Haiti, Niger and Pakistan, foreign ministers from Niger and Palestine, and education ministers.
President Kagame concluded his trip to Oslo by meeting with members of the Norwegian-African Business Association (NABA) and Rwandans living in Norway.