Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Global Citizenship Education (GCED) Network Meeting - Johannesburg, 06 – 07 April, 2017
April 20, 2017
To identify strategies and to solidify regional action for GCED, the UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa (ROSA) and the Asia-Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding (APCEIU) jointly organised the GCED Network Meeting in Johannesburg on 6 and 7 April, 2017. The aim is to strengthen the existing GCDE and GCDE-related initiatives of different partner organisations within the region. Therefore, the main objectives of the GCED Network-Meeting were to:
Jumpstart the formation of the Sub-Saharan Africa Regional GCED Network
Map different GCED programmes in the region
Explore areas of possible collaboration in light of solidifying regional action on GCED
To achieve these objectives, the participants had the chance to listen to presentations, discuss in different groups for example corresponding to their institutions or regions. Also various panel discussions were held to pursue the objectives. The expected outcomes of this meeting were:
Overview and updates on GCED, in line with Sustainable Develop Goal 4 Target 7
Identification of regional, sub-regional and country-level entry points for GCED and strategies to be employed.
Mapping of planned activities, recommendation of synergies between partner organisations, and exploration of potential areas of collaboration
Formation of the Africa Regional GCED Network and identification of partnership strategies, including follow-up plans and checklists for future reference
The UNESCO Regional Office of Southern Africa (UNESCOROSA) and the Asia Pacific Centre for Education for International Understanding (APCEIU) invited over 60 representatives of GCED-implementing institutions from the sub-Saharan Africa to discuss and develop the abovementioned objectives. Our Program Coordinator for Natural Science Mrs. Bontle Mokotso Ntsoaole was invited to be part of this meeting.
In his opening remarks, The Director of UNESCO ROSA mentioned that: “The challenge we face is that the world is overwhelmingly out of balance, between the planet and people and between people themselves. The advances that have been enjoyed in the 21st Century have also bred huge poverty and humiliation for many”. He said we need to address these imbalances in order to create a world where people live in harmony with themselves and with nature. This requires collective action that will focus on changing mind-sets and attitudes and that education is the most powerful tool as it has enormous ability for also achieving / promoting all the other sustainable development goals.
Director of UNESCO ROSA, Professor Hubert Gijzeng with Director of APCEIU, Mr, Atik Chung and Ms. Lefika Chetty from the South African National Commission for UNESCO.
To set the stage for discussions, more presentations were made, in particular the Director of APCEIU, Mr. Utak Chung, discussed the agenda setting process of GCED and shared the current initiatives by APCEIU with a particular focus of engaging partners in Africa. He also introduced the main objectives of APCEIU in supporting the establishment of the GCED Network.
He mentioned the various contributions of the APCEIU to GCED which include hosting the Technical Consultation on GCED in September, 2013 co-organising several UNESCO forums on GCED and GCED Seminars at the UN level. APCEIU also played a huge role in promoting GCED among stakeholders at the World Education Forum held in South Korea in 2015.
Ms. Lefika Chetty gave the welcome remarks on behalf of the hosting country, South Africa and the South African National Commission for UNESCO.
Part of the network meeting was to point out the main challenges regarding GCED implementation in the different partner-institutions, namely: Government, University, Civil Society and National Commissions for UNESCO. In an overall recap, it is recognisable that the challenging areasare related to the definition of the Concept of GCED as it understood differently in the different regions of the world, its integration, competence of personnel delivering it, resources, working with the youth, partnerships and measuring the impact of the initiatives.
The National Commissions for UNESCO, reported challenges as:
Inadequate financial and human resources, which might hamper efficient monitoring, evaluation and advocacy
Creating a common understanding among partners regarding the GCED-concept
Lack of ownership of UNESCO programmes among stakeholders
After discussing the challenges, the participants were asked to identify main action points to respond the mentioned challenges. The national commissions group came up with these solutions:
Build capacity on mobilising resources, and develop National Commission staff to understand their liaison role
Encourage volunteerism and use of interns
Convene meetings, awareness-raising and sensitisation platforms and advocacy campaigns
Follow up with stakeholders and provide advice through various communicationmodels
Link urgent national challenges and issues that are relevant to GCED to instill political will
The main outcome of the meeting was involved the identification of action points for the regional network, roadmap for implementing the network and the design of the network.