French external action for education in developing countries (2010-2015)

Education is a major priority for French development aid and constitutes one of the key pillars of development. The States with which France cooperates have also made this choice: nineteen out of thirty-two Partnership Framework Papers signed in 2008 have made education a priority sector, while the promotion of French as both a written and spoken language is a cross-cutting sector for cooperation. This is a choice in favor of solidarity, allowing individuals to exercise their rights while benefitting from access to knowledge, languages, know how and ideas. It is also a strategic choice in support of sustainable growth and the fight against all forms of poverty, a condition for the demographic transition of developing countries and a factor contributing to the improvement of populations’ health. This choice, based on diagnostics and priorities shared with partner countries, increases the effectiveness of French aid (in the spirit of the 2005 Paris Declaration and the 2008 Accra Agenda).

Illust: School in Jacmel, 65.3 kb, 300x200
School in Jacmel (Haiti) ©MAEE/F. de La Mure

In light of this, France has decided to promote two major goals between now and 2015:

  • Significantly contribute to universal primary education and to the goal of achieving equal access to education for girls and boys;
  • Promote an integrated vision of education, including primary and secondary education, vocational training and tertiary education, to meet the challenges relating to youths’ future through a new strategy encompassing the entire educational sector.

The achievement of these goals goes hand in hand with policies to promote French, a language that enables access to knowledge, particularly in French-speaking Africa where French is the language of instruction. France is therefore updating and renovating current educational instruments and methods and is building capacities in the countries that receive aid to steer their educational system.

2010-2015 strategy

In 2005, French strategy fully corresponded to the international context, placed under the auspices of programs developed by the United Nations: Universal Education and Millennium Development Goals (MDG). This strategy also coincided with the transfer to the French Development Agency of all education-related projects formerly managed directly by the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (MAEE). The new 2010-2015 strategy is more than a mere update. It deliberately widens the former scope and offers a new approach to respond to challenges relating to youths’ future and their contributions to development in Southern countries: what academic path, training courses and languages should be learned to ensure proper economic and social integration ?

The foundations of the Education, Training and Integration Strategy (2010-2015) and the values on
which it is based were adopted by the Interministerial Committee for International Cooperation and
Development on 5 June 2009.

Updated on : april 2010