Title: Tackling the data challenge in Africa’s educational systems

Date: Friday, 21st October 2022

Time: 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM Mauritius time (GMT+4)

Venue: Le Méridien Île Maurice

Storyline: Africa faces a data crisis in education and skills and the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the situation. Countries have made positive efforts in providing data on education and skills, demonstrated in improved country reporting on the eight priority areas of the African Union’s Second Decade of Education for Africa’s Plan of Action (2006-2015) and the Millennium Development Goals targets (reflected in ADEA’s Outlook on Education regional and continental reports of 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014 and presented to the then Conference of Ministers of Education of the African Union – COMEDAF). However, global, continental, and regional reports still exhibit missing or outdated data. For example, only 17 out of 55 countries in sub-Saharan Africa had data for SDG Indicator 4.1.1 on achieving minimum proficiency level in foundational literacy and numeracy, and no African country had reported any data for SDG Indicator 4.3.1 on youth and adult participation in formal and non-formal education (UIS, 2018). As a result of the perennial challenge of scarce quality data on education and skills for informed decision making, poor data continues to hurt the ability of African countries to make demand-driven policy decisions on education and skills. There is need to support African countries to provide quality data on education and skills for informed decision making through policy, planning, programme implementation, monitoring, and evaluation.

Objectives: Explore the best ways to: 

  1. Sensitize the education leadership on the importance of quality data, cascading to other levels.
  2. Strengthen the capacity of policymakers to understand the process of collecting, utilizing, and publishing quality education and skills data.
  3. Identify country priority needs and areas of support to inform capacity building interventions that are institutionalized and sustainable over time, in the data value chain.
  4. Strengthen peer learning and communities of practice around data on education and skills.

Expected outcome: A capacity building roadmap for improving the capacity of African countries to collect, manage, publish, and use data for education and skills to inform decision making in planning, monitoring, and evaluation.

Moderator: Dr Silvia Montoya, Director, UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS)


  • Open Development Education (OpenDevEd)
  • Mr. Suraj Shah, Lead, Regional Centre for Innovative Teaching and Learning (CITL), Mastercard Foundation (TBC)

Expert perspective: Prof. Eric Hanushek, Senior Fellow, Stanford University, United States

Policymaker response: Hon. Claudiana A. Cole, Minister of Basic and Secondary Education, The Gambia


  • Hon. Dr. Joyce Moriku Kaducu, Minister of State for Primary Education, Uganda
  • Mr. Patrick Nkenge, Program Manager, Quality Management, IIEP-UNESCO Dakar 
  • Dr Lucy Heady, CEO, ESSA Africa. Methodology for mapping education data & lessons from its application to TVET data in Kenya, basic education in Malawi and Sierra Leone: ESSA Africa.
  • Mr Alpha Bah, Head of EMIS and ICT, Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, The Gambia. Country experience with DHIS2 for Education.
  • Mr Shadreck Nkoya, Zambia National Examinations Council.  Innovations to improve the quality of national assessments.