News and Events: Press releases

Rwandan government and local donors join forces to achieve education for all in Rwanda

Davos, Switzerland, 25 January 2008 – The World Economic Forum’s Global Education Initiative (GEI), partnering with the Education For All Fast Track Initiative (FTI) under the banner of the Global Education Alliance (GEA), is working to use the strengths of the private sector and foundations to achieve education for all in low-income countries. Working within the FTI framework, the GEA will initiate an unprecedented collaboration between corporations, the national government and the local donor group to obtain the greatest efficiencies and sustainable, long-term results. The GEA is delighted to announce that the first country to be piloted under this framework will be the Republic of Rwanda.

This pilot comes as a complement to the release of two fundamental reports: the GEI Model of Effective Partnership Initiatives for Education report, an analysis of the Jordan, Egypt, and Rajasthan Education Initiative country, underlining the key success factors of effective Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships (MSPs) in education and a the New Partnerships for EFA: Building on Experience, a Meta-Review of existing partnerships over the world.

In spite of efforts from the international community, fulfilling the UN Millennium Development Goals (i.e. achieving universal primary education) and in particular fighting illiteracy within the UNESCO Education For All (EFA) objectives remain major challenges. Around 77 million children are still out of school, of whom 38 million are in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The contribution of the business community to the FTI process through the GEA builds on the success of the GEI’s Jordan (2003), Rajasthan (2004) and Egyptian (2006) Education Initiatives and represents a significant new perspective to international development collaboration. Rwanda was chosen as a pilot country given its track record of creating effective public-private partnerships and the emphasis the government is placing on the development of human capital, science and technology.

“Education is the world's single greatest equalizer, and AMD is proud to continue to collaborate with the World Economic Forum's Global Education Initiative," said Hector de J. Ruiz, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of AMD. "We've seen technology leave a profound imprint on the quality of these educational programmes and their ability to scale. This new pilot programme in Rwanda is a perfect complement to 50x15, a global initiative founded by AMD to enable affordable, accessible Internet connectivity and computing capabilities for 50% of the world's population by the year 2015.”

“Providing universal access to education is crucial to influencing the standard of living and economic prosperity for individuals and countries," said John Chambers, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cisco. “We believe this new alliance will be a powerful advancement in global education, uniting public and private sectors to provide children a future of greater social and economic opportunity.”
 “Ensuring universal education is a global problem that is thwarting much of the developing world’s progress in attaining health and social equity, economic growth and political stability,” said Richard Edelman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Edelman. “We at Edelman look forward to supporting this important Fast Track Initiative in Rwanda through strategic communications counsel and services to help create a powerful front to tackle the harsh reality that millions of children are not in school.”

"Intel strongly believes that every child deserves a chance to succeed and professional development of teachers is most critical for the transformation in education," said Craig R. Barrett, Chairman of Intel Corporation. “Through the Intel Teach program we have trained over five million  teachers in close collaboration with governments around the globe. We are pleased to commit to the Global Education Alliance initiative in the Republic of Rwanda as we fully support the goals of  Education For All.”

“Broadening access to quality education for all children is a critical building block of sustainable and prosperous societies. Microsoft is committed to the ideals of Education For All and believe participation through our Unlimited Potential initiative in the Global Education Alliance partnership can help to transform education in the Republic of Rwanda and deliver improved opportunities for all students,” said William Gates, Chairman of Microsoft Corporation.

AMD, Cisco, Edelman, Intel and Microsoft among other partners have strongly expressed their wish to explore effective ways of collaborating with the FTI to help the government of Rwanda and others achieve their priorities in education.

”I am delighted to learn that the Global Education Alliance (GEA) is to pilot an important education initiative in Rwanda. I am equally pleased about their collaborative approach that incorporates business, government and local donor actors with the goal of realizing greater sustainability and efficiency. I must underscore that successful socioeconomic transformation is a shared responsibility among these players. We welcome GEA to Rwanda – and I have no doubt that they will make a significant contribution to our development endeavors”, said His Excellency Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda.

"Education for All is not a suggestion, it is a global imperative. We owe it to the world’s waiting girls and boys to give their cause our all.  I’m delighted that the lessons from JEI are being adapted and applied to new contexts, and that private sector partnerships and proficiencies are bringing Rwanda’s children, and their teachers, exciting new learning opportunities." Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan
 The World Economic Forum, through the Global Education Initiative (GEI) has mobilized and convened the senior global political, business, and civil society leaders in several occasions in 2007 in order to identify common solutions. Five years after its launch, the GEI is enjoying significant achievements and progress. Building on the success of the education initiatives in Jordan, Egypt and the Indian state of Rajasthan, 2007 has been a year of transition and groundwork to start a new alliance working along the principles and practices of the Fast Track Initiative.

“The ambitious agenda of Education for All can only be achieved through the active engagement of all stakeholders. This is what UNESCO is promoting, both through our Partnerships for Education initiative with the World Economic Forum, as through our global coordination of the EFA movement more broadly. So as we champion Education for All let us also declare "All for Education".” Koichiro Matsuura, Director-General, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
 “This is an important new development in our work to provide every child around the world with a proper education”, says Desmond Bermingham, Head of the FTI secretariat. “The companies involved can bring knowledge, skills and valuable resources to developing countries that are already striving hard to put their children into schools. This will happen in a true partnership sense: with the national government and local donors.”

For more information
Alex Wong: +41 (0)22 869 1460
Nadia Boulifa: +41 (0)22 869 1267
Angela Bekkers: +1 202 458 8831

FTI: The Education for All Fast Track Initiative (FTI) is a global partnership between donor and developing countries to ensure accelerated progress towards the Millennium Development Goal of universal primary education by 2015. All low-income countries that demonstrate serious commitment to achieve universal primary completion can receive support from FTI. Currently, 33 developing countries are supported by FTI including Rwanda. The FTI partnership is supported by 30 bilateral and multilateral donors such as the World Bank, UNESCO and UNICEF and its secretariat is hosted by the World Bank.
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