Secretary of State for International Development pays tribute to the work of Africa Educational Trust

Secretary of State for International Development pays tribute to the work of Africa Educational Trust

As part of a high profile event on 17th June hosted by Baroness Ann Taylor to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Africa Educational Trust, the Secretary of State for International Development personally paid tribute to the work carried out by the Trust in conflict affected areas of Africa today and historically in supporting education in the era of Apartheid.

Douglas Alexander joined a number of international speakers including Cream Wright, UNICEF Global Chief of Education, Lluis Riera, European Commission Director for International Development and Bience Gawanas, Commissioner for Social Affairs at the African Commission at this important event to discuss progress towards Universal Primary Education.

The emerging theme was the need for an urgent focus on education if the target of Universal Primary Education by 2015 is going to be reached for some of the African countries furthest away such as Sudan and Somalia. The importance of holistic education from the earliest years right through to higher education was emphasised. This will ensure the people of these countries are best equipped to be future leaders of their countries.

Bience Gawanas, Commissioner for Social Affairs in the African Union said that it was due to AET’s sponsorship of her education whilst she was in exile that she was ‘able to fulfil her dream of fighting for social justice’.

Lluis Riera, Director of Development Policy, European Commission said “I am delighted to have this opportunity to pay tribute to the work of the Africa Educational Trust. It is clear that the scale of the problem posed by the need to achieve the MDG target for primary education in Africa is particularly challenging…. Africa Educational Trust has proved its effectiveness and has established a position of being a significant driver of change in African education”

Cream Wright, UNICEF’s Global Chief of Education said “UNICEF has also been privileged to work with the Africa Educational Trust over many years and can attest to the pivotal role that AET plays with consistency in its countries of operation. Long before the current deep interest in addressing so-called fragile States became fashionable there have been those like UNICEF, AET and many others who have persistently struggled to restore learning opportunities for children in times of emergency”

For further information on the work of Africa Educational Trust please contact:
Jill Landymore, Deputy Director, Africa Educational Trust 18 Hand Court London WC1V 6JF
Tel: 020 7831 3283 Fax: 020 7242 3265 E-mail:

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Name: Fiona Roberts
Phone: 020 7831 3283