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27.03.2008 Europe

$1 BILLION KICK START TO GET AFRICAN CHILDREN INTO EDUCATION

By Sarah Thoms

The UK government today pledged to increase spending on education in Africa to $1 billion in 2010, to ensure 8 million children in Africa have access to education.

The commitment was made at the UK French summit during which Prime Minister Gordon Brown and President Sarkozy of France agreed a new partnership to get 16 million children in Africa into school by 2010.

Secretary of State for International Development, Douglas Alexander said,

"Back in 2000 at the UN Millennium Summit, the international community made a commitment to getting education for all children by 2015. Although global enrolments in primary education have risen by 41 million between 1999 and 2005, there are still 72 million children who have no access to education, 33 million of them in Africa.

"The partnership with France is a positive step in the right direction and it is vital that other countries join with us in putting education in Africa back on the international agenda. We must do more to keep our promise."

In 2010 South Africa will host the football World Cup and today several football authorities, including FIFA and the FA, leant their support to increasing education in Africa, particularly in the run up to the FIFA 2010 World Cup.

Notes to editors:
The UK Government has committed to spend £8.5 billion on education over 10 years (2006 - 2015)

Some $11 billion a year is required in external financing to achieve the six 'Education for All' goals. The UK Government is working with partners, multilateral institutions - through the Education for All Fast Track Initiative, UN agencies and civil society to generate the necessary financing.

For further information, contact Sarah Thoms or Barbara Hewitt on 020 7023 0600, e-mail [email protected] or [email protected] or call our Public Enquiries Point on 0845 300 4100.

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