About the Triennale

The ADEA Triennale (formerly Biennale) is one of the most important global events on education and training in Africa, not only for the content of the discussions but also for the quality of the analytical work and high level participants invited. It brings together heads of state, a significant number of African government ministers of education and training (and ministers in charge of other sectors like youth, labour and SMEs), representatives of development cooperation agencies supporting education in Africa and practitioners and researchers. Representatives of civil society, youth, private sector and other stakeholders such as diaspora are also invited.

ADEA has organized nine (9) Biennales on different themes since 1991, and held its first Triennale in 2012 in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) on the theme “Promoting critical knowledge, skills and qualifications for sustainable development in Africa: How to design and implement an effective response by education and training systems”.

Building on previous Biennales and the last Triennale, the 2017 Triennale, to be held in Dakar, Senegal, in March 2017, incorporates new continental and global education initiatives. Although Africa has made significant progress with regard to Education for All (EFA) and MDGs, many African countries are ranked among those that are far from achieving the global education targets. This is precisely the reason why human capital development remains critical in the pursuit of poverty reduction and sustainable development. The 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) emphasize the need for a holistic and interactive approach to development.

Africa’s Agenda 2063, which is integral to the 2030 SDGs, seeks to meet seven aspirations of African countries. Two of the six pillars in the strategy for achieving the aspirations are: (i) science, technology and innovation; and (ii) human-centred development. Evidently, education is critical to both the 2030 SDGs and Africa’s Agenda 2063 as an instrument for sustainable development and transformation of the continent.

The 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda prioritises education as a vital tool for enhancing knowledge and skills for employment and entrepreneurship in order to promote sustainable development. In a similar vein, Africa’s Agenda 2063 conceives human capital as a key driver in catalysing the continent’s development, and calls for sustained investments in higher education, science, technology, research and innovation, and the elimination of gender disparities at all levels of education. However, in its present form, the African education sector cannot effectively play the role set for it by the global and continental development agendas due to a number of challenges. Therefore, it is imperative for the continent to develop a comprehensive long-term Education Framework for Action to realise both the global and continental agendas. This is the main enterprise of the 2017 Triennale.

The theme of the 2017 Triennale is: Revitalizing education towards the 2030 Global Agenda and Africa’s Agenda 2063.

Its general objective is to provide the opportunity for the various stakeholders to share experiences and to collectively design strategies, modalities, conditions and factors for the operationalization and implementation of the Education Framework for Action under the global and continental frameworks.

The sub-themes are:

  1. Implementing Education and Lifelong Learning for Sustainable Development;
  2. Promoting Science, Mathematics and ICT;
  3. Implementing Education for African Cultural Renaissance and Pan-African Ideals; and 
  4. Building Peace and Global Citizenship through Education.

In preparing for the Triennale, ADEA seeks to ensure the ownership of the process by African countries and education stakeholders through active involvement in the diagnosis, design, implementation, evaluation and review phases.