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Africa's Educational Systems Can Gain Much From Russia, Ministers From Continent Say

© Photo International Forum of Ministers of Education “Shaping the Future”The II International Forum of Ministers of Education “Shaping the Future.”
The II International Forum of Ministers of Education “Shaping the Future.” - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 10.06.2024
In 2023, the inaugural International Forum of Ministers of Education “Shaping the Future” hosted representatives from almost 40 countries and 18 education ministers in Kazan. This year, the II Forum is welcoming delegates from the so-called "friendly" nations to Russia, including China, Belarus, Iran, India, Brazil, Mexico, and from Africa.
Delegates from a wide array of nations, including South Africa, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Djibouti, South Sudan, Benin, Chad, the Central African Republic, Niger, and Eswatini, came to Russia to represent Africa at the educational forum in the central Russian city of Kazan.
A Sputnik Africa correspondent talked to high-ranking delegates about their impressions of the forum, the situation in education in their respective countries, as well as cooperation between Russia and Africa in an area so important for the future of the peoples, including the prospects for education in the emergence of a multipolar international system.

Eswatini Looks to Forge Educational Alliance

Eswatini seeks to expand training programs with Russia, the southern African country's Minister of Education and Training, Owen Nxumalo, told Sputnik Africa on the sidelines of the forum.

"I'm much interested in tertiary in the universities. So in the fields of medicine and engineering and agriculture too," he said, adding that "Russia will play a vital role in that aspect."

The minister praised Russia's approach to preschool education and expressed an intention to "sign a memorandum of agreement," as Russia "has done a lot in terms of early childhood education."
"Then from there, I think we have to go into bilateral relations because there's a lot, as an African country, that we can get from Russia," he said.
Nxumalo noted that currently, more than a thousand Eswatini students are studying at universities in Russia, emphasizing that the expansion of educational programs between the countries "will help a lot in technology and digitalization."

Russia Can Help Support Uganda's Education System, Minister Says

His Ugandan colleague, the Minister of State for Higher Education, Dr. John Chrysestom Muyingo, also expressed his eagerness to cooperate with the Russians in the field of education, as he noted the interest.

"I've already noted that people here are interested in collaborating with us, and this is something we've been praying for a long time. Collaboration to promote education," Muyingo told Sputnik Africa.

The minister of the East African country underlined the importance of the forum as a tool for exchanging experiences.
"We are all coming together from all over the world to share ideas on how we can develop and improve education globally, for the betterment of the world," he said.
Among the most interesting areas of cooperation in the education field, he named "technology, science, [...] innovations and research."

Niger's Aspirations for Closer Ties with Russia Include Education Area

The Nigerien Deputy Secretary General of the Ministry of Higher Education, Ibrahim Elhadji Daou, in turn, shared with Sputnik Africa that, in addition to other spheres, Niger and Russia work in “close collaboration” in the sphere of education.

“Currently, we are in an interesting phase in our collaboration with the Russian Federation. We are working on several projects, [one of] which relates to national education. […] We have ambitions to create the conditions to be able to work in close collaboration with Russian companies and also at the level of education here in Russia,” he said.

In this sense, the two countries are witnessing a revival of relations, which were actively developed during the Soviet Union era.
“In order to show this interest, my country has already appointed an ambassador here in Russia. And the Russian Federation has also appointed an ambassador who will go to my country. So we have already started close collaboration to be able to work together. And I think it will continue in this direction,” he concluded.

Benin's Enduring Partnership with Russia, According to Minister

"We intend to strengthen collaboration on youth entrepreneurship and on the creation and intensification of digital platforms, "Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Benin Eléonore Yayi Ladekan told Sputnik Africa, underscoring that Russia and Benin have been "great partners" for many years.

She emphasized the role of the BRICS countries and their partners in "participating in the construction of a large community that will revolutionize educational practices" and give "young people a chance to get started."
"I even have to thank Russia because in recent years our relations have intensified, and we have had an increase in support that Russia has granted to Benin. And we also have a language center in Benin at the largest university of Abomey-Calavi," she said.
Ladekan also expressed gratitude to Russia for the recent uptick in support that Russia has given Benin.

Djibouti and Russia Sign Memorandum on Professional Training

The Minister of National Education and of Professional Training in Djibouti noted that the East African country wants to draw inspiration from the Russian experience in education.

"Specifically, we have focused on professional training in sectors such as electrotechnical, electromechanical, robotics, telecommunications, and especially program development and cybersecurity," Moustapha Mohamed Mahamoud told Sputnik Africa on the sidelines of the forum.

Djibouti's minister underlined the country's urge not to "follow any other country's model, but to take inspiration from these models."
"Not to take a Russian model, nor adopt a French model [...], then adapt and improve them in relation to our context, which has its own difficulties and achievements," he emphasized, adding that Africa has great achievements nowadays and is proud of them.
The II International Forum of Ministers of Education "Shaping the Future" takes place on June 10-11 in Russia's Kazan. This year's event is a presentation of the successes of the domestic sovereign education system and the experience of the organization of the educational process.
The event is organized by the Ministry of Education of Russia, the Government of the Republic of Tatarstan, and the Foundation for the Support of Humanitarian Sciences "My History."
Russian language teacher Tamara Trofimova and former student, who became Russian language teacher in the city of Sibiti, Leonard Balossa, at the branch of the Institute of Russian Language named after A.S. Pushkin, Republic of Congo. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 10.06.2024
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