Deepening International Collaboration in a Post-Covid-19 Era for Youth and Education in Sub-Sahara Africa

Authors: Okwilagwe, O.

Journal: European Studies Journal

Issue: 16

Pages: 199-222


In humanitarian emergencies, education is usually hard hit, with countries faced with the difficult decisions of how to respond and recover from such crisis, consideration for resources towards education might not always take priority; more vulnerable in such humanitarian emergencies are low-income African countries. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the education of the world's children and youths, from pre-primary to university. The disruption caused by this pandemic to communities and survivors alike is linked to both physical and emotional damage. Major concerns pertain to the inequity gap as it concerns families with low educational background and limited physical resources to support distance learning. Furthermore, the challenge and fear, is that youths could fall through the cracks and disappear from the schooling systems. Although restrictions are gradually being lifted in developed countries to allow for some form of normalcy, restrictions in schools are only rather slowly being lifted up. The pandemic continues to present challenges to even consider some form of restriction lifting in schools for most countries in Africa.

This paper explores the opportunity for developed countries to deepen collaboration with the African continent on youth and education in the post-COVID-19 pandemic era. Despite frustrations faced in this unprecedented times, this paper recognises that there is the potential to turn challenges faced into opportunities for improving the education systems through calling on and enhancing international cooperation and solidarity. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4 – ‘Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’ is a priority area for the members of the United Nations General Assembly. Likewise, ‘Investing in youth for accelerated inclusive growth and sustainable development’ was the driving theme of the African Union-EU Summit in 2017. The key objective was to invest in the continents’ young population and in future generations as a prerequisite for building a sustainable future for African countries. There is no time like now to deepen policy dialogue on efforts to reform higher education in Africa countries and to enhance collaboration to reaffirm the commitment of the European Union and the African Union.

Source: Manual