The EU acts to help develop education and training in Africa, particularly higher education.
The 2007 Joint Africa-EU Strategy and first Action Plan (2008-2010) emphasise the importance of co-operation in higher education to build high-quality tertiary capacity through networking, mobility of students and scholars, and institutional support and innovation. Fostering higher education in Africa is instrumental both for growth and jobs and to provide schools with more qualified teachers.
The Africa-EU Strategic Partnership on Migration, Mobility and Employment, foreseen in the Action Plan, further stresses these objectives.
The importance of reforming higher education in Africa was highlighted at the "Developing links: EU-Africa Cooperation in Higher Education through Mobility " Conference held in December 2008. Priorities included establishing compatible structures and systems to facilitate mobility and higher education co-operation within Africa (through mobility schemes such as Nyerere), as well as between Africa and Europe and other parts of the world (through programmes such as Erasmus Mundus or EDULINK).
An African Tuning Project – similar to the Tuning Educational Structures in Europe and Latin America Projects – has won the support of representatives of African and European universities and the European and African Union Commissions.
At the April 2009 Bologna Ministerial Meeting, non-Bologna countries, including Ethiopia, debated worldwide co-operation and partnership in higher education. The Forum expressed the desire to establish dialogue on recognition policies, the various qualifications frameworks and related topics.
In addition to higher education, the Africa-EU Strategic Partnership also promotes basic education through co-operation under the Africa-EU Strategic partnership on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).