The Problem with the Right to Education

Approaching the human rights framework from a developing nation’s perspective on education – by Gilbert Mitullah


First things first: The fact that I describe myself as an education lawyer might make this post seem counterintuitive. After all, here I am criticizing a framework that I have spent my entire life working on. Since my life’s work has been spent on human rights, especially the human right to education, I technically should be trying to justify the effectuality of the source of my day’s pay — and yet, doing so would be grossly insincere. The right to education is not necessarily playing an effectual role in cultivating an accessible and all-inclusive form of education. In this article, I’d like to put on view the precise reasons as to why this argument stands, while also proposing solutions to the complications touched upon.

The human rights approach to education, through the right to education finds its roots in Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)[1] which came into play in 1948. Since then, the concept of the right to education as a legal, moral and normative right has been expanded over time and has gained interpretation in various contexts across the globe. The right to education has consequently been exposed to numerous challenges that expose the cracks in its conception, implementation and potential for impact in causing transformation.

On account of this, I would like to present some of the challenges that I would pose to the concept of a right to education, and what this means for an educator or a policy maker, and not a lawyer or an activist. The view I want to present is the inadequacy of the right to education to address actual education challenges at the “point of implementation,” which is the policy making table, for the school owner or leader or the classroom where students are learning. These challenges may not change the implementation of the right to education framework, but should at the least demonstrate spaces where other frameworks could be implemented, for example the capabilities approach in taking advantage of and expanding the right to education as enacted.

It should be noted that the right to education may not have universal homogenous implementation, as not all countries experience this right in the same way, and others, not being parties to any treaties enforcing the right to education do not experience it at all. That notwithstanding, the ideas behind the right to education could be implemented as a moral or normative concept.

One Ring to rule them all,
One Ring to find them,

One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien

The first challenge to the right to education, as a concept for education, which is expressed as an imperative in the UDHR and attendant treaties[2]is that it is based on rules, set more than 60 years ago. It has since been governing international law and international relations and their attendant consequences, including financing. These rules are then purportedly progressively interpreted and implemented across all States

The question of participation in the development of these treaties, and the system for its enforcement means that the terms of these treaties are steeped in anticipatory conflict from the very beginning, and do not offer a scenario for inclusive of the best opportunities for education. The power dynamics surrounding the acceptance of the UDHR by the UN General Assembly, where imperatives are received from above in a vertical hierarchical sense, and the mandatory terms it is steeped in, particularly in the context of developing countries many of whom were still under the shackles of colonialism when it was negotiated, and the subsequent enforcement of these rights challenges its legitimacy.

The concern is that not everybody had a say in the rules that they have had to live by for the past 60 years, and worse yet, a cultural context was not infused then. The first counter argument received on this view is that the States that are parties to these treaties acquiesced to them, so they are not being forced into it. This may not necessarily be true though, given that financing for any projects in these nations is based on such treaties. The question of aid dependency and neocolonialism since the 1960s has already been flogged and flayed and will not be addressed here, but the argument on acquiescence and its link to aid dependency cannot be overlooked.

An associated issue to this hierarchical implementation and enforcement of the human rights framework is the ambiguity it comes cloaked in. It doesn’t give exact ideas on what it means to have a right to education, and although many subsequent protocols and comments have been promulgated or given by UN Committees, what this specifically means at the “point of implementation|” is left open to interpretation, and mostly by the courts. This ambiguity was left in because of the lobbying surrounding various interests represented when crafting the rights, but has not been very helpful in explaining what it means to have these rights in so far as they are meant to be useful in improving lives and livelihoods.

Many a time it has been asked by people, “I have a right to education, so what? Can I take it to a bookshop and get textbooks? Can I take it to a school and receive admission for my child? What does this right mean?” More importantly, does the human rights approach give a sense of justice, even if it may not offer justice? Do the possessors of the rights have a sense of actually having the right?

Another issue that might occur under this framework is the amendment to accommodate emerging issues and the question of adaptability. How easy is it to get out of the treaties a State has already ratified? How easy is it for nation States to come together to actually amend these treaties?

The amount of political will and effort it would take to actually agree to changes in already ratified treaties is so great as seen from the recent Paris Climate Agreements that incorporate work that has been negotiated since Stockholm in 1972 and Rio de Janeiro in 1992. It is not easy to get in or out of these treaties, for obvious reasons, but what does this mean for increasingly changing circumstances in the context of education?

Likewise, the enforcement mechanisms of the UN, which include warnings, sanctions and calls for action would never work in the context of education. The human capital approach has ensured that each nation is interested in investing in education for development, but not interested enough to educate all people equally for their own individual benefits. There is no practical way in which an international right to education can be enforced unless domesticated, and even then, it depends on who and where this right has been infringed on for it to be implemented.

Had I the heaven’s embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light;
I would spread the cloths under your feet:

But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

The Cloths of Heaven by W. B. Yeats

The second challenge, which seeks to remedy the first, but fails the framework as well, is that the human rights framework struggles with the realities of capacity, policy and politics that pepper the government’s work in every State on a daily basis. Most developing nations don’t have the capacity for implementing some of the imperatives they have acquiesced to and so have to constantly come up with strategies to cope, and even then, still cannot honour them. In international and domestic law around the right to education, the right is variously phrased, but the end is the same — in the sense that it gives the government obligations that must be achieved either presently or progressively.

A potent example is in the scenario of Low Fee Private Schools that are mushrooming in many countries like India, Pakistan, Kenya, Uganda and Nigeria. Research already demonstrates that it is the perceived failing public schools that are pushing more and more parents to these so called “private schools for the poor” where these schools have sprouted, discounting the presence of commercial school chains that fall in this category. It is clear that the governments are struggling to keep up with the pressures of growing populations and the consequent growing obligations without the right finances and personnel, whether its quality assurance and standards staff or teachers. In this space, the private sector has responded to cover for the areas the government struggles.

That notwithstanding, the human rights framework, and those who are constantly monitoring its enforcement and implementation insist that the State must provide free public basic education as is the aspiration of Jomtien 1990 and Dakar 2000 and that it cannot delegate this role to others, especially in this context of Low Fee Private School.

But what can governments do? Where they lack the capacity, they throw their hands in the air and say they have done their best, and anyone who says differently can move to court where the government will repeat the same words and the court cannot compel them to do more than their best. States like Pakistan have insisted that they have the duty to adhere to the right to education, but it cannot be dictated to them how to do this and so have allowed for Public Private Partnerships and a greater space for private providers of education to thrive.

Some arguments could be made on just how strictly this approach could be taken and what it means for law, but for the majority of interpreters of these treaties with an enforcement and conflict approach, the hard-line on who gets to play in the education field is very clear.

Don’t leave me in all this pain
Don’t leave me out in the rain
Come back and bring back my smile
Come and take these tears away
I need your arms to hold me now
The nights are so unkind
Bring back those nights when I held you beside me

Unbreak my Heart, Toni Braxton

A third challenge that I pose to the human rights framework, and particularly the terms and language it is soaked in, is that it gives only the government agency as a duty holder, and that any other person in the discourse is either a right holder or non-existent. The fact that human rights are considered innate natural rights makes this scenario even more intriguing.

The right to education is given, not possessed, and so is futile in so far as the giver is unwilling to participate. Understandably, this nuanced approach was important because it is States that are party to treaties and other parties who participate in treaty making only determine what gets into the treaty but not what happens subsequent to its ratification. It is an ambitious goal to not only compel various governments of a particular State to honour treaties that they never ratified themselves, but that in the face of their own political agendas and with the power they have newly won, or taken or otherwise acquired, they must now go about the work of implementing global treaties. Given the international structures around financing for developing countries, diplomacy, development and other such platitudes will compel them to acquiesce, but not as willing partners but rather as prisoners of circumstances.

Under such circumstances, would it really be possible to claim that these governments will do their best? Sometimes it is the governments that are the aggressors on these rights, and there is no recourse against them. Whether this is because these governments are dictatorial or corrupt, too poor to care or too encumbered with different priorities to bother, there are many reasons why the governments would not honour these obligations as envisioned. In this sense, the human rights framework for accessing education is challenged by those who are the main actors in the discourse.

This may be remedied through the courts, as is often the case, but the courts can only offer so many solutions. Some have argued for a minimalist approach to socio-economic rights that ensures the bare minimum of the right to education is implemented, but accessing justice for the poorest people is a whole other ball game, the subject of scores of theses and dissertations around the world.

Furthermore, there is only a certain level to which remedies from the courts are effective. In Kenya, for example, the Constitutional court has repeatedly stated that its orders cannot go into determining government policy but will work to enforce the law to the best of their ability. In the case of exorbitant school fees at the Kenya School of Law, an institution that has been beleaguered with numerous constitutional cases surrounding the high school fees it charges, the courts have held severally that although prospective students of the school have a right to education, it is not impeded by the school fees and that the courts cannot issue orders on school fees because it is judicial policy to refrain from orders that work in vain and whose compliance is near impossible. In this way, the duty bearer and right holder approach does not offer complete solutions for education, and would not be able to handle complex issue that are better suited for negotiation, progressive planning and community engagement. The human rights framework fails on this account.

The other issue with the duty bearer and right holder nexus, is that solutions sometimes do come from outside this discourse, which are then challenging to implement without the State, and in other instances, challenges to the right to education come from outside the same nexus, and the right holders then have a problem in bringing charges against the transgressors.

Would it be possible to sue a private institution for infringing on your right to education? What happens where the right to education is infringed on by a government independent contractor, as might happen with charter schools and similar models?

These weaknesses with the human rights framework, especially from a systemic point of view must be addressed satisfactorily and not just for those with information, money and power, but also for the poorest of the poor, who would not know where or how to start.

…Welcome here
We should make them
Go back to where they came from
They cannot
Share our food
Share our homes
Share our countries
Instead let us
Build a wall to keep them out
It is not okay to say
These are people just like us
A place should only belong to those who are born there
Do not be so stupid to think that
The world can be looked at another way

Refugees by Brian Bilston

A final criticism and thought on the human rights framework is that it may not cater to migrant populations, refugees and immigrants in States. The strength of the human rights approach is on dealing with States and keeping States accountable. States themselves owe allegiance to their citizens who pay taxes and participate in economic, social and political progress. That notwithstanding, we are now living in a world where millions of people are fleeing their homes because of war, disaster, economic turmoil and other challenges, to preserve their lives or in search of better opportunities. These people have no rights where they go, except as refugees and asylum seekers. Even then, the supposed innate human rights mean nothing for them, much less the right to education. The States themselves reject their existence, let alone the presence or possession of rights, and as such these people have no recourse. They die in the seas in their flight to safe havens — and when they get there, they die on the land, albeit slowly. In this sense, all the moral platitudes that could be stated, overstated and pronounced could not help refugees enforce a right in the courts.

We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.

Winston Churchill

Having attempted to make a case for the weakness of the human rights framework, where does the road lead? I would wager that there are numerous solutions that could be presented.

To make it clear, a system with weaknesses doesn’t make it bad, it only makes it incomplete. I would argue that Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum’s Capabilities Approach could be a good way to operationalise a human rights framework if implemented together. How this would be done is the subject of another article, but the possibility of joining these two concepts to work together still stands. In the context of developing countries, where the human rights language and framework is being implemented, a partnership with the capabilities approach would prove useful in the sense that it would try to complete a picture half painted, for the prosperity and wellbeing of all people, both rich and poor.

There may be many other solutions to this challenge, but that would be a good place to start. The point here is that we cannot give up in fighting for a fairer, more equal world, where the possibilities for future generations are secured and the prospects of the present ones are sure. As Churchill puts it: “We shall never surrender.”

[1] Article 26 of the UDHR states that, “Everyone has the right to education”.

[2] These include the UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education (1960), International Covenant on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1965), International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights (1966), Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (1979), African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (1987), Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their families (1990), Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006) among others.


African Charter On The Rights And Welfare Of The Child Preamble. Retrieved from

Aubry, S., & Dorsi, D. (2016). Towards a human rights framework to advance the debate on the role of private actors in education. Oxford Review of Education42(5), 612–628.

Badiou, A. Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding of Evil. London: Verso

Davis, D. M. (2008). Socioeconomic rights: Do they deliver the goods? I@BULLETCON6(4), 687–711.

Hart, H. L. A. 1955. Are there any natural rights? The Philosophical Review 65:175–91.

Nations, U. (n.d.). The universal declaration of Human Rights | United Nations. Retrieved from

O’Connor, T. (2014). Debating Human Rights — universal or relative to culture? | Retrieved July 2, 2017, from

Posner, E. (2014). The case against human rights | Eric Posner | News | The Guardian. Retrieved July 2, 2017, from

Rights-Hakijamii, E. and S., Cradle, T. C. F., East African Centre for Human Rights, (KNUT), K. N. U. of T., & The Global Initiative for Economic, S. and C. R. (2016). The United Nation raises alarm about the lack of regulation in the education sector and sub-standard schools funded by development aid in Kenya. Retrieved from — Final Press Release CRC private education Kenya.pdf

Robeyns, I. (2006). Three Models of Education : Rights, Capabilities and Human Capital. Theory and Research in Education4(1), 69–84.

Sen, A. (2004). Elements of a theory of human rights. Philosophy and Public Affairs32(4), 315–356.

UNICEF. (2007). A Human Rights-Based Approach to EDUCATION FOR ALL. Retrieved from

Unterhalter, E., Vaughan, R., & Walker, M. (2013). The Capability Approach and Education. Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling53(9), 1689–1699.

Young, K. G. (2008). Minimum Core of Economic and Social Rights: A Concept in Search of Content, The. Yale J. Int’l Law.33(3), 113.

Note: This article was first published on


Apply: #Africa112 Summit in Harare, Zimbabwe


#Africa112 aims at supporting social- economic initiatives aimed at wealth and job creation, targeting young woman and men with limited opportunities for economic empowerment including affordable innovations.

The conversation, powered by Core Foundation Africa will hold on 27 & 28th July 2017 at HICC, Harare (Zimbabwe) under the theme: “The Future of Africa, Her Youth and Women.

For more info: + 263 77 612 7462 / +27 76 453 4912 / Email: /

To apply, click here: 


Pour la version française, cliquez ici

AU-FLAGPursuant to the African Union Assembly Decision n°: Assembly/AU/Dec.277 (XVI) and EX.CL/Dec.539 (XVI) on the launching of African Women’s Decade (AWD) and the Fund for African Women, the AU is pleased to announce the call for the submission of project proposals under theme n°10 of the African Women Decade namely “mentoring youth (women and men) to be champions of gender equality and women’s empowerment” which content is as follows: “Energizing the African Women’s movement, and mentoring young women and men leaders and professionals, both in Africa and the Diaspora to be champions on Gender Equality and women’s empowerment”.

The implementation of the Decade themes is within the context of the integration of NEPAD into the African Union Structures and in line with Assembly Decision n° Assembly/AU/Dec.333 (XVI) to consolidate gains so far made and to achieve coherence. It also reaffirms African Women’s Decade to be the overall implementation framework for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (GEWE) and the Fund for African Women’s Decade to be the vehicle for mobilizing resources in line with the Executive Council Decision EX.CL.Dec.539(XVI)(4) and calls for Development Partners support.

By this call, the Commission hereby invites members States and stakeholders to submit their project proposals on the Theme: “mentoring youth (women and men) to be champions of gender equality and women’s empowerment”. This Theme n°10 of the African Women’s Decade is seriously taken into consideration by the African Union Commission and is scheduled to be discussed at the 2017 AU Summit under the theme’ “Harnessing the demographic dividend through investments in the Youth”.

Agenda 2063 has also given an important place to young women and men and according to its Aspiration 6, the Africa Union Commission aspires by 2063 to: “an Africa where development is people-driven, relying on the potential of African People, especially its women and youth…” This clearly shows the will and commitment of the African development actors to lay emphasis on Young women and men. This inclusive and people-centered approach can only be reached by empowering, mentoring and championing the young component of the African population. Agenda 2063 is Africa’s vision and roadmap for the fulfilment of Africa endogenous plan of transformation. Therefore, there is a need for African youth to be mentored accordingly.

The Fund will benefit young women and girls through grassroots initiatives, developed by:

  1. African Union member States;
  2. African Civil Society Organizations working on mentoring youth (women and men) to be champions of gender equality and women’s empowerment.
  3. Youth groups

Proposals will be funded for one year with a ceiling up to thirty thousand dollars ($30,000).

1-Criteria for the selection of project under the “mentoring youth (women and men) to be champions of gender equality and women’s empowerment” Theme:

The projects should be based on the African Union Agenda 2063. The Agenda works for a Shared Strategic Framework for Inclusive change for a better Sustainable Development, gender equality and women’s empowerment.

The project or programme should contribute to any of the following:

  1. Create environment where the African and Diaspora young women’s movement will find a platform to interact and bring paramount and valuable changes to the women condition in Africa;
  2. Sensitize and train youth about the drawbacks and consequences of exclusion, on the fact that no woman or man will be left behind or excluded, on the basis of gender;
  3. Demonstrate its commitment as People-centred and training youth about gender equality and Women’s empowerment.
  4. Engage and empower youth to be gender-sensitive in their approach for decision making, while targeting sustainable development;
  5. Boost African women’s incentives to create movements and initiatives aiming at fully empowering young women in all spheres, and promoting their social, political and economic rights, including the rights to own and inherit property, sign contracts, register and manage businesses, and accessing leadership positions;
  6. Organize the mentorship and championship activities for young rural women and men and create movements or cooperatives that will raise awareness on their rights; and help them have access to productive assets, including land, credit, inputs and financial services.

2- In addition to the above mentioned criteria, the selected projects should:

a) Set key mentoring and championing priorities at continental level, to accelerate gender equality and women’s empowerment according to Agenda 2063 vision which expects full gender parity, with women occupying at least 50% of elected public offices at all levels and half of managerial positions in the public and the private sector;

b) Promote the adoption of policies that ensure that the youth of Africa is socially, economically and politically empowered with full implementation of the African Youth Charter and subsequent Decade Plan of Action;

c) Work for the elimination of all forms of systemic inequalities, exploitation, marginalization and discrimination of young people and mainstream youth issues in all development agendas;

d) Lobby for the elimination of Youth unemployment in Africa, while guaranteeing their full access to education, training, skills and technology, to health services, jobs and economic opportunities, recreational and cultural activities as well as financial means and all necessary resources to allow them to realize their full potential;

e) Train, monitor and champion Young African women and men to be the path breakers of the African knowledge society and contribute significantly to innovation and entrepreneurship;

f) Guide Africa’s youth and strengthen their knowledge into creativity, energy and innovation for them to become the driving force behind the continent’s political, social, cultural and economic transformation;

g) Be committed to sensitize and advocate to increase access to Sexual Reproductive Health Services and Rights (SRHR) for young people in Africa;

h) Capitalize on regional youth consultations for a better understanding and ownership of Agenda 2063; i) Promote Young People’s Rights, particularly young women’s rights Towards the Attainment of Agenda 2063’,

j) Create a platform for aggregating youth concerns such as migration, employment and mobility, inclusion, diversity management and popular participation;

k) Train Young people to be active actors in governance.

Mode of application

  1. Submission of a brief and schematic Concept Note in line with the application characteristics provided (attached). The Concept Note should be in summary form to facilitate technical evaluation and provisional approval or rejection by the Steering committee. It should not exceed one page;
  1. Submission of a more detailed, well formulated project proposal, in accordance with the format provided (attached), which meets key operational, technical and procedural requirements required for the final evaluation of the proposal.

The application should include the following information:

  1. A one page synthesis of the Concept Note (attached), as follows:
  • Basic data (project name, management details, duration, geographical location, context and rationale of the project);
  • Description of the project (purpose, goals and objectives, expected outcomes, activities, indicators, beneficiaries, entities and partners);
  • A brief presentation of the implementing agency: 1) governance structures, financial management, monitoring and evaluation, and sustainability plans;
  • Names and contact details (telephone numbers, email, etc.) of signatories.
  1. Detailed project proposal: Refer to attached outline
  1. A page containing:
  • The detailed budget in dollars (US$) and equipment (available and required). Distribution: 50% for equipment, and 50% for training and general expenses. The Fund for African Women does not cover salaries.
  • Bank details of the organization;

All applications should include a letter of recommendation from national Coordination Committees or Ministries responsible for Gender and women’s Affairs. NGO’s and CSO’s, should provide a copy of the Letter of Information sent to your Ministry of women Affairs. All hard copies of applications should be sent through the respective Embassies of Member States in Ethiopia, with electronic copies submitted directly to the Commission, addressed to the Director- Women, Gender and Development Directorate, AU commission Fund for African Women, by April 15, 2017.

Kindly note that the commission will only accept proposals that adhere to the indicated theme.

This announcement will be posted on the AUC website

The detailed format in which concept notes should be submitted is available on the website in English, French, Portuguese and Arabic.

Member States and grassroots organizations with the requisite capacity, experience in networking with women’s groups, community cooperatives, the informal sector, and addressing gender inequality are encouraged to apply.

For further information or clarifications, please contact Mrs. Mahawa Kaba Wheeler, Director- Women, Gender and Development Directorate (WGDD), Tel: +251 11 518 21 12 – email:; Mr. Adoumtar Noubatour, Senior Programme Officer, Tel: +251 11 518 21 11- email: ; Mrs Fiorella De Pede, email : Tel.: +251115182115.

CLICK HERE to get all necessary documents: African Union Website


Call for applications : Debate on youth and political decision-making in Africa


Engaging young people in politics is critical to the safeguarding and strengthening of democracy worldwide. With an estimated 1.2 billion people aged 15–24 on the planet, justice and democratic legitimacy demand more than a token youth presence in parliament. People between the ages of 20 and 44 make up 57 per cent of the world’s voting age population but only 26 per cent of the world’s MPs. In addition, the presence of young people in political positions can change attitudes, eroding stereotypes about readiness or fitness to lead, while also encouraging young people to see politics as an arena open to their participation.

Application guidelines

  • Youth applicants between the ages of 18-35 are welcome to participate.
  • Applicants should submit a 300-word abstract on the theme “Youth in political decision-making in Africa” by 27 February 2017.
  • Shortlisted applicants will be contacted for a preliminary training and assessment session on 13 March. Applicants located outside Addis Ababa, Ethiopia will be interviewed via Skype.
  • The organizers will announce the teams on 20 March and preparations for the debate will be held on 21 March.
  • The final debate will be held on 31 March in Addis Ababa (location TBD).

 Debate procedure

After the preliminary training and assessment session on 13 March, each team, consisting of three individuals, will answer two essay questions based on a set of thematic questions or a case study; one supporting the topic and the other against. Each team will be assigned to a supervisor who will support the team on basic structure and formatting. The teams will debate one side of the argument based on their submitted essays and through the use of other sources of information. The floor will then open for a Q&A session for further discussion and clarification. After examining the essays and verbal arguments, independent evaluators will grade each team and announce the final winner.


  • The winning team will have the opportunity to participate in the upcoming Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa on 22-23 April 2017 (Accommodation and flights to Bahir Dar, Ethiopia will be covered).
  • They will also have the opportunity to publish their essay in the upcoming AfSol (African Solutions) book series, IPSS website as well as other IPSS web platforms.
  • A certificate of participation on behalf of the IPSS Alumni Network will be given to all participants.

For questions and to submit abstracts, please contact

Click here to download more on the application process.

Source: IPSS Website

Postulez: Forum Régional des jeunes sur le patrimoine mondial, 26 Avril-5 Mai 2017

logo-1Les forums des jeunes, l’une des principales activités du Programme d’éducation des jeunes au patrimoine mondial, encouragent l’apprentissage interculturel et l’échange. Ces forums, réunissant des jeunes issus de différentes régions du monde, servent également de catalyseur et insufflent l’inspiration nécessaire pour développer des activités éducatives et participatives autour du patrimoine mondial aux niveaux national, régional et international. Les thématiques de ces forums abordent des défis liés au patrimoine mondial en matière de conservation et de préservation tout en contribuant à la promotion de l’éducation au patrimoine mondial et à l’implication des jeunes.

A l’instar du forum anglophone en 2016, qui était le tout premier organisé en Afrique, le forum francophone s’efforcera de mettre en place une plateforme pérenne destinée à la jeunesse africaine afin d’accroitre sa participation dans le domaine de la protection du patrimoine mondial en Afrique. Cette initiative répond à la fois à l’intérêt exprimé par les Etats parties d’organiser un forum régional des jeunes sur le patrimoine mondial et aux recommandations du Second cycle du rapport périodique pour la région Afrique.

Objectifs du forum: Ce premier forum des jeunes pour les pays francophones aura pour objectifs de : 1- Sensibiliser les jeunes sur les enjeux liés à la protection et la préservation du patrimoine mondial grâce à une compréhension approfondie de la Convention concernant la protection du patrimoine mondial, culturel et naturel et des travaux du Comité du patrimoine mondial ; 2- Mobiliser et impliquer les jeunes en les encourageant à développer des initiatives viables qui tiennent compte des enjeux environnementaux dans leur pays et du Programme de développement durable à l’horizon 2030 ; 3- Promouvoir le dialogue intergénérationnel et l’échange de connaissances entre les jeunes, les experts et spécialistes du patrimoine mondial, notamment en milieu universitaire ; 4- Approfondir une réflexion auprès des jeunes sur les améliorations à apporter dans l’enseignement du patrimoine en Afrique ; 5- Encourager la participation des jeunes dans des activités (entrepreneuriales ou autres) de gestion durable du patrimoine mondial y compris le développement touristique.

Langue de travail: Le français est la langue de travail du forum.

Financement: Les coûts du forum seront couverts par les organisateurs, c’est-à-dire le billet d’avion, l’hébergement, les repas et les transports locaux au Burkina Faso pendant le forum. Les participants sélectionnés prendront en charge leur visa de séjour au Burkina Faso et leur transport à l’intérieur de leur pays respectif.

Postuler au forum: Chaque candidat au Forum doit soumettre les documents ci-après : 1- Le formulaire de candidature dûment rempli (cliquez ici pour obtenir le formulaire) ; 2- Une lettre de motivation (1 page maximum) décrivant en détail les motivations et expériences liées au patrimoine mondial ; 3- Un curriculum vitae (2 pages maximum) ;  4- Une lettre de recommandation signée par l’autorité/la hiérarchie compétente soit de l’administration ou institution, soit de l’université ; 5- Une courte vidéo démontrant comment les jeunes promeuvent ou pourraient promouvoir et/ou sauvegarder un ou les sites du patrimoine mondial dans leur pays. Veuillez noter les critères pour les vidéos : Créative, innovatrice, surprenante et particulièrement amusante ! Doit durer 2 minutes maximum, et être au format “AVI” uniquement.

Critères de sélection: La sélection des participants au Forum se fera sur la base des critères suivants :

  • Agés de 20 à 28 ans ;
  • Ayant une des nationalités suivantes : Algérie ; Angola ; Bénin ; Burkina-Faso ; Burundi ; Cameroun ; Cap-Vert ; Centrafrique ; Comores ; Congo ; Côte d’Ivoire ; Djibouti ; Gabon ; Guinée ; Guinée-Bissau ; Guinée Équatoriale ; Mali ; Madagascar ; Maroc ; Maurice ; Mauritanie ; Niger ; République Démocratique du Congo ; Rwanda ; Sao Tomé et Principe ; Sénégal ; Seychelles ; Tchad ; Togo ; Tunisie.
  • Maitrise de la langue Française ;
  • Jeunes passionnés par la protection du patrimoine dans leur pays, ayant potentiellement participé à des projets dans ce domaine ;
  • Motivés, actifs et prêts à s’engager dans un réseau de jeunes africains désireux de mettre en œuvre les résultats du forum dans leur pays.
  • Diversité et complémentarité d’expériences parmi les participants ;
  • Etre une personne d’influence et avoir la capacité de motiver les autres jeunes de son pays et ceux de la Région Afrique ;
  • Egalité de genre et équilibre géographique.

Conditions: Tous les participants sélectionnés doivent obligatoirement être présents pendant toute la durée du Forum. Les participants doivent s’engager à consacrer du temps à la préparation et au suivi du Forum des jeunes. NOTE : Veuillez noter que la soumission des candidatures indique que le candidat accepte le droit de l’organisateur d’utiliser la candidature à des fins d’information et de promotion. La propriété intellectuelle des candidats sera reconnue.

Date limite de candidature: Les dossiers complets de candidature doivent parvenir à l’adresse email suivante : au plus tard le 20 Janvier 2017 (12h GMT). Pour toute information supplémentaire concernant le Forum ou en cas de problème relatif au processus de sélection, veuillez contacter le FPMA (Nony Tiana Andriamirado: Veuillez noter que les demandes envoyées à cet e-mail ne seront pas acceptées. Veuillez les envoyer à l’adresse électronique indiquée ci-après : Les participants seront sélectionnés par un jury constitué de représentants du Fonds pour le patrimoine mondial africain (FPMA), du Burkina Faso (pays hôte), du Centre du patrimoine mondial de l’UNESCO. Les candidats sélectionnés seront informés de leur sélection au plus tard le 26 Février 2017.

Cliquez ici pour télécharger l’annonce entière de l’appel à candidature

APPLY: African Union’s Intercontinental Youth Forum on Violent Extremism

Disclaimer: All rights reserved to the author 

Preventing/countering violent extremism (PCVE) is an issue that has been addressed nationally, regionally and globally since the turn of the millennium. PCVE is generally pursued through coercive hard power such as military-dominated peace support operations and surveillance to name a few. Although these methods have proven effective to a certain extent, they come at a high cost both financially and in human lives, while still failing to completely eradicate violent extremism.

Objectives: The objective of the trans-continental dialogue programme on PCVE through the soft power of religion is to create a transcontinental platform that will bring together stakeholders from Africa and Europe to deliberate on these issues and produce contemporary recommendations and activities on how to prevent/counter violent extremism. The dialogue further aims to:

  • Strengthen inter- & intra-religious efforts and strategies in preventing/countering violent extremism and promoting conflict prevention, peace building, reconciliation and conflict transformation;
  • Facilitate inter-religious dialogue as a tool to influence policy and advocacy in Africa and Europe;
  • Establish a platform for partnership between African and European stakeholders, particularly faith-based and interfaith organizations to work together in addressing common issues such as promoting a culture of peace and building trust, peace and common values.

Long-term objectives

  • Promote values of tolerance, mutual respect and better understanding centered around intra- and inter-faith, inter-religious and inter-cultural values that are the core principles for integration and peace.
  • Achieve behavioural change of communities and individuals, redefining contemporary human values for tolerance and integration.
  • Reach out, educate and de-radicalize target groups (particular focus on youth) and train respective stakeholders.

This intercontinental forum will provide a platform to discuss different means of preventing/countering violent extremism by drawing on the soft power of religion and dialogue and, accordingly making policies at the local, national and regional levels that are relevant to both Africa and Europe. The forum will bring together a group of experts and practitioners on interfaith dialogue, countering violent extremism, and de-radicalization along with a representative group of youth from Africa and Europe. The forum will focus on the following objectives:

  1. To develop strategic directions for the Interfaith Dialogue on Violent Extremism (IDOVE) project based on principles and methods of interfaith dialogue on countering violent extremism and de-radicalization.
  2. To develop suitable concepts and applications for the IDOVE website that will be launched at the Forum.
  3. To develop concepts and mechanisms to support small scale youth-run projects to be implemented in Africa and Europe within the project objectives.
  4. To design plans for a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system to monitor the implementation of small scale projects, following up on them through annual meetings.

Participation: The forum is primarily geared towards empowering youth to conceptualize and develop projects using the two major approaches of the IDOVE project: Social Media and Small Scale Projects. Therefore, the following criteria will form the basis of the participant selection process:

  1. Aged between 20-35
  2. Citizen or resident of a European or an African country
  3. Fluency in either English or French, in addition to fluency in another language
  4. Proven interest in interfaith, de-radicalization and/or preventing/countering violent extremism, as evident from having:
    • Developed projects related to those topics
    • Participated in projects related to those topics
    • Conducted formal research on those topics
    • Participated in conferences, workshops and forums on those topics

Applications must be completed using the online application system and must be submitted by midnight of Sunday, 15 January 2017.  Notifications of admission to the forum will be sent during the last week of January 2017.  The organizers will cover all travel and accommodation costs associated with the forum.


APPLY: MINDS Scholarship Program for Leadership Development

logoMINDS offers scholarships to Africans who wish to pursue post-graduate studies within Africa, outside of their own countries. Through tailored leadership development activities, the MINDS Scholarship Program aims to nurture leaders who have a continental development mindset; leaders who will facilitate greater cohesion and cooperation between African countries.

MINDS scholarships are applicable to full-time studies of a one or two year Honors or Master’s degree at one of the MINDS preferred institutions (listed below). MINDS does not prescribe the course to be studied.

The scholarship will cover some or all of the expenses below, depending on whether a partial or full scholarship is awarded:

  • Tuition,
  •  Accommodation and meals,
  • One return ticket per duration of studies,
  • A fixed stipend.

Individuals with a Pan-African outlook, demonstrated leadership ability and an excellent academic record who wish to study on the African continent, outside their home country are invited to apply for the scholarships.

Eligibility Criteria

MINDS scholarships are awarded to meritorious applicants following a rigorous selection process.  To be considered for a MINDS scholarship, you must:

  • Be a national of an African country, residing in any African country;
  • Have been formally accepted by one or more MINDS preferred institution/s to pursue postgraduate studies within the following year; (Click here to have the full List of Preferred Institutions)
  • Have obtained at least 70% in each subject/ course in the last two completed years of study;
  • Produce evidence of demonstrated leadership abilities or potential guided by the questions/ requirements set out in the application form;
  • Submit a complete online application form (see below) with the required supporting documentation.

Applying for a MINDS Scholarship

MINDS is currently receiving applications from students who commence their studies in 2017. Interested individuals are invited to submit applications as soon as they receive official acceptance from a MINDS preferred university at which they wish to study. Applications will be processed in the order they are received.

If you meet the eligibility criteria above, you can submit your application by clicking on the link below. Please have the following documents scanned, saved and ready for uploading. All documents uploaded must be in PDF format. Each attachment  should not exceed 2MB  in size.

  • A copy of the data/ bio page of your passport.
  • A certified academic transcript/ results slip of the last two years of study.
  • A copy of the official acceptance letter from the university. The letter must:
  • Be addressed to the applicant.
  • State the degree which the applicant has been accepted to study.
  • State the academic year at which the degree will commence.
  • State the duration of the course (e.g. one year).
  • A copy of a valid study permit or visa OR proof of application.
  • A detailed CV/ Resume of not more than four (4) single sided pages.
  • Two reference letters (of not more than 3 pages each) addressing the applicant’s demonstration of integrity, their competency and/or potential as a leader and their commitment to the development of the African continent.


Source: MINDS Website