High-level Conference on Addis Ababa Convention and the Role of STEM Higher Education to Achieve Sustainable Development 12-13 June 2017

UNESCO-IICBA participated, represented by Dr. Temechegn Engida, at the “High-level Conference on Addis Ababa Convention and the Role of STEM Higher Education to Achieve Sustainable Development” held 12-13 June 2017 in Gaborone, Botswana. The overall objective of the meeting is to discuss the contents of the Convention and the processes of its ratification with the following specific objectives:
1.    Review the importance of investment in higher education and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to meet the SDGs and targets in the SADC region;
2.    Raise the awareness on the provisions of the Addis Ababa convention, identify on-going actions taken by Member States, and highlight the relationship between the Addis Convention and the SADC Qualification Framework;
3.    Share experiences from the region and beyond on the introduction of harmonisation, accreditation and quality assurance measures in Higher Education systems; and
4.    Discuss follow up actions at the country and SADC levels, and identify modalities for collaboration with UNESCO and other partners.

At the end of the two days deliberation, the high-level delegates recommended the following to the SADC ministerial meeting to take place in Swaziland:
1.    Ratification of the Convention by SADC Member States by end of 2018;
2.    Investment in financial and human resources across all levels of education to strengthen STEM Programmes; and
3.    Develop a regional programme for STEM to address issues of access, quality, relevance and equity.
Finally, the conference call on cooperating partners in particular UNESCO, in partnership with SADC, to provide technical support to enhance implementation. UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa, Regional Office for Eastern Africa and IICBA were in attendance of the high-level conference.