The Indaba Conference 2023 in Zambia

The Indaba will take place in Lusaka, Zambia from 17th to 19th May 2023 with a view to elevating girls’ education to the top of the countries’ and the African Union political agenda and to maximising public awareness and engagement.

Pre-Indaba Convening: A Pre-Indaba will be organised in Nairobi, Kenya at the end of beginning of February 2023 to harness the evolving discussions and generate greater momentum in the lead up to the March Indaba.

  1. Preparation

Preparations for the Indaba will be guided by four overarching principles:

  1. Local involvement and contribution: A significant emphasis will be placed on engagement at the local and national levels and BPE country teams will be actively engaged throughout the process.
  2. Inclusive: The Indaba will therefore bring together the full range of stakeholders that are relevant to the advancement of the Agenda 2030 and other commitments on girls’ education and lifelong learning and will including youth and children, teachers, academia, international organizations, civil society and the private sector.
  3. Girl-inspired: The Indaba will be prepared by, with and for girls. Steps will be taken to ensure that girls help to shape the Indaba and participate in all the Indaba work streams.
  4. Building on existing efforts: The Indaba will build on work already being done by the Church and wider civil society, governments, inter-governmental organisations and non-governmental organisations to advance girls’ education. The Indaba will also be guided by existing international frameworks, commitments and plans to advance girls’ education like the 2030 Agenda, UNICEF and UNESCO work, the 2015 Incheon Declaration for Education 2030 and recent outcomes of the post-COVID-19 efforts like the UNESCO Global Education Meeting and the 2021 Paris Declaration: A global call for investing in the Futures of Education. The Indaba will seek to further strengthen existing BPE efforts and initiatives, including those that emerged in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  1. Conference Work Streams

We will engage a focused, intensive, and inclusive preparatory process that is built from the ground up, responds to BPE member priorities, is supported by the BPE secretariat and ensures the meaningful engagement of young people and the full set of education stakeholders within and outside church circles. For this purpose, the Indaba will employ three primary intersecting and reinforcing workstreams for advancing preparations.

  • Local Consultations: Local consultations at country level will aim at developing a shared vision, commitment and alignment of action across BPE and other relevant constituencies to contribute to the transformation of girls’ education. Under the leadership of country-level BPE members, national and local consultations are intended to put focus on the policy, planning and budgetary changes needed to recover learning losses, get SDG 4 and girls’ school enrolment back on track and reimagine education into the future.
  • Thematic Action Tracks: The objective of the Thematic Action Tracks work stream is to place a spotlight on a small number of areas that require greater attention and action and that can accelerate progress on girls’ education and transform education. Action tracks will identify evidence-based examples of successful policy interventions and mobilise new commitments to action, building on and strengthening existing initiatives, partnerships and coalitions, including those that emerged in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Action tracks will address the following six key issues:
  1. Girl-child friendly, Inclusive, equitable, safe and healthy schools
  2. Teachers, teaching and the teaching profession
  3. Learning and skills for life, work and global citizenship
  4. Relationship and Sex Education (RSE) and Integral Human Development
  5. Trauma-Responsive education and policy
  6. Re-entry policy
  7. Financing of education
  8. Educating at the margins and in emergencies: educating children in contexts of poverty, war situations, migrants and refugees
  9. Catholic education and preferential option for the poor
  10. The role of families in girl education
  • Policy advocacy to reimagine girl education and ensure deep and sustained public support and engagement, which translates into political debate at all levels will be essential. This will include the need to promote the democratisation of dialogue around education and to grow a strong movement for education transformation that is gender inclusive.
  1. Indaba Outcomes

The “Keep-the-Girls-in-School: Creating Gender-Sensitive Education Systems” Indaba is designed to call back African nations to strengthen and accelerate implementation of existing multilateral agreements on girls’ education – particularly SDG 4 and the 2030 Agenda in general. Therefore, the Indaba is not intended to establish new frameworks or resolutions. Instead, the Conference will leverage the Church’s unique convening power and reach to focus on calling and pushing African nations and governments toward the following outcomes:

  1. National and international commitments to transform education especially in regard to keeping girls in school
  2. Greater public engagement around and support for transforming girls’ education
  3. A Conference Chair’s Summary will capture the knowledge generated by the Conference and its preparatory process, informing Conference follow-ups.

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