Education is a key vector of development in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries as they hold the potential to lift future generations out of poverty.
About 69 million children worldwide are currently out of school, half of them in sub-Saharan Africa. Achieving universal primary education for girls and boys alike is among the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to be reached by 2015. Intra-ACP cooperation contributes to these objectives through its participation in the Education for All initiative.
Higher education and research are areas that directly benefit from multi-country cooperation. It has the advantage of enabling significant economies of scale, in particular in ACP countries with small populations or scarce human resources, and of enhancing collaboration between universities.
A number of complementary initiatives are underway to address the different challenges in this field.
Programmes and projects
- Edulink- ACP-EU cooperation programme higher education
- Erasmus Mundus ACP II project
- Global Partnership for Education – Education for all: Fast Track Initiative Catalytic Fund
- ACP Connect for Research and Education Networks
The programme aims to strengthen the capacity of higher education institutions in ACP countries and improve their quality. The second phase kicked off in 2012, adapting the programme to a changing higher education context following the introduction of new EU initiatives such as the ACP Science and Technology Programme, Erasmus Mundus and the Intra-ACP Mobility Scheme.
Part of the Erasmus Mundus cooperation and mobility programme, this partnership between higher education institutions from the EU and the ACP countries contributes to the sustainable development of these countries’ higher education while promoting European higher education.
It includes partnerships between European and ACP countries’ higher education institutions, exchange and mobility as well as a scholarship system.
The Commission contributes to this multi-donor trust fund which provides funding to low-income countries enabling them to scale up their education sector programmes. Many ACP countries have received funding since the fund was created in 2003.
This EU-funded project covering sub-Saharan Africa as well as Caribbean and Pacific countries supports the development of research and education networks and their interconnection with GEANT, the pan-European data network connecting the research and education community.