Hichilema named champion of foundational learning for Africa


IN a historic decision aimed at revolutionising education across Africa, President Hakainde Hichilema has become the first ever African President to be the champion of foundational learning in Africa.

This has come after a request was made from the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Education during a high-level policy dialogue forum to take up the position.

The forum which was held in Lusaka, last November, saw the endorsement of a ministerial communiqué by 10 ministers and 11 ministerial representatives from 21 African countries.

The gathering was aimed at identifying an African Head of State and Government to become the champion of foundational learning. 

In a press briefing held in Lusaka yesterday, Minister of Education Douglas Syakalima said the prestigious role given to the President comes as a result of his outstanding leadership in education and commitment to improving learning outcomes in Zambia and beyond.

"President Hichilema's acceptance of this prestigious position marks a significant milestone for Zambia and underscores the nation's dedication to advancing education on the continent." he said.

Syakalima said President Hichilema's attention will be drawn to addressing the pressing challenges facing education in Africa, including limited access to education due to poverty, inadequate funding, poor infrastructure, and teacher shortages.


"The president will leverage his leadership, influence, and accomplishments in foundational learning to drive positive change." Syakalima added, "His role will involve advocating for policies and programmes that support early childhood development and improve the quality of primary education."

He further said President Hichilema will aim at raising the standards of education across Africa, promote early childhood involvement, and create visibility for prioritising foundational learning at regional, continental, and global levels.

"As the champion of foundational learning, President Hichilema is expected to mobilise increased investments from governments, development partners, and non-governmental organisations in critical areas of foundational learning," said Syakalima.

By Elesani Phiri

Kalemba May 13, 2024

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