EU Commits €110 Million to Boost Education and Research in Zambia

In a significant move aimed at advancing Zambia's educational and research landscape, the European Union (EU) has pledged €110 million under its Global Gateway initiative. This commitment was formalized during the recent Global Gateway High-Level Event on Education held in Brussels, where European Commissioner Jutta Urpilainen and Zambia's Minister of Education Douglas Syakalima signed an agreement to implement the grant funding.

The allocated funding is earmarked to support Zambia's National Development Plan and Free Education Initiative, with a focus on improving the quality of primary and secondary education. Specifically, the initiative aims to reduce the dropout rate among girls, enhance accessibility for learners with disabilities, and promote early childhood education and development in the Luapula and North-Western Provinces.

Commissioner Urpilainen underscored the EU's commitment to providing equitable access to quality education and skills training, emphasizing its role in addressing inequalities and driving prosperity, especially in the context of green and digital transitions.

In addition to the substantial investment in education, the EU unveiled 15 Intra-Africa Mobility Scheme projects under the flagship Youth Mobility for Africa initiative, with a funding of €27 million. These projects will facilitate learning mobility opportunities for students, trainees, and staff across the continent, with a focus on enhancing high-level green and digital skills.

One notable project, the Gr2A initiative—Grow Green Africa: Building Climate Change Resilience Through Smart Green Technologies—will see the participation of the Copperbelt University in Zambia. Funded by the EU with €1.8 million, this project aims to address climate change challenges and promote sustainable development through knowledge exchange and the acquisition of green computing competencies.

Additionally, Commissioner Urpilainen launched the Africa-Europe Youth Academy, a key initiative of the Youth Action Plan in EU external relations. This academy will provide learning opportunities and exchanges for young people, empowering them to improve their leadership skills and foster networks between Africa and Europe.

Furthermore, Zambia is set to benefit from the regional Team Europe Initiative on Opportunity-driven Skills and Vocational Education and Training in Africa, aimed at aligning vocational training initiatives with employment opportunities created by Global Gateway investments.

The EU's commitment to investing in education and research underscores its dedication to fostering sustainable development and driving socio-economic progress in Zambia and across the African continent.


Article by Jed Mwangi