“Quality education gives young people in Africa the chance to earn a decent living in their home countries and not to be forced to leave their homelands,” said MEP György Hölvényi at the presentation of the report on education in Africa by the European Parliament’s Development Committee on Wednesday.
The politician, who is responsible for the draft as permanent rapporteur, highlighted that “in the field of education, it is essential that the EU’s external action is as adapted as possible to local circumstances.” We simply have to take note of local realities,” he added. Hölvényi pointed out that the EU cannot ignore the need to cooperate with religious organisations in the field of education on the grounds of misguided ideological neutrality.
The report, prepared by the KDNP MEP, takes the first-hand experience of African experts, including partners in Ghana, Zambia, Kenya and Rwanda, as well as the insights of various international organisations such as the World Food Programme and UNESCO. “It is clear that quality education is the engine of sustainable development. It gives young people in Africa the opportunity to earn a decent livelihood in their home countries and not be forced to leave their homelands. However, while the EU is the biggest contributor to education in developing countries, its annual budget allocation has remained practically unchanged since 2010. It is clear that additional resources need to be mobilised. But this will only be effective if efficiency is drastically increased. The credibility of our engagement depends on this step!
The MEP underlined that access to quality education has indeed become a priority area for EU development policy. He pointed out that the EU’s efforts should be focused on helping educated young people to contribute to the development in Africa, rather than seeking their fortunes in Europe.
Following the current debate, MEPs are expected to vote on the report at the end of October, which could be submitted to the European Parliament plenary in December.
Brussels, 20 September 2023