Education Policy Delegation Trip to Cote D`Ivoire, Togo and Ghana
Educational Policy Exchange with Africa
From 24 November 2021 to 3 December 2021, a Freedom Party delegation consisting of the President of the FBI, Member of Parliament Dr. Axel Kassegger (also Chairman of the Parliamentary Friendship Group Austria - Sub-Saharan Africa), Member of Parliament Christian Hafenecker (Chairman of the Committee for Research, Innovation and Digitalization) and Member of Parliament Berno Mogel (Assistant to Dr. Kassegger) travelled to the African countries of Cote D'Ivoire, Togo and Ghana.
On Thursday, November 25, 2021, an extensive working meeting with members of the parliament of the Republic of Cote D'Ivoire took place in the rotunda of the Ivorian parliament. The discussion with the Chairman of the Committee on Research, Science, Technology and the Environment, MP Emile Kohoui Guirieoulou, and other members of the committee focused on mutual perceptions of the Austrian and Ivorian education systems. Head of delegation Dr. Kassegger also explained the functioning, advantages and challenges of the Austrian dual education system. In the afternoon of the same day, the Head of Cabinet of the Minister of Higher Education and Research, Mr. Toka Arsene Kobea, hosted a working meeting at the Ministry. Of particular interest to KC Kobea was the Austrian system of research funding presented by Mr. Hafenecker.
On Friday, November 26, 2021, a meeting took place with the rector of the largest university in Côte d'Ivoire. Rector Prof. Zie Ballo heads the Universite Felix Houphouet-Boigny in Abidjan, which was founded immediately after gaining independence in 1964 and is now the country's largest and most important university with over 50,000 students and 13 faculties. The university is perhaps better known under its original name Universite de Cocody Abidjan. Cooperation between the university and Austrian universities has not yet taken place, which is why the interest in the Austrian Africa UniNet program presented by Dr. Kassegger was all the greater.
In the afternoon, Mondi was visited and the focus of interest was the program "Dual vocational training in Morocco and Cote D'Ivoire - capacity building for locally adapted, demand-oriented technical vocational training", which is implemented by Mondi and supported by Austrian development cooperation. The delegation was given a comprehensive report by Director Mohammed Al Andaloussi. A total of 25 young Ivorians are taking part in the program in Cote D'Ivoire, who are receiving dual training as industrial electricians.
On Tuesday, November 30, 2021, a working meeting with members of the Togolese National Assembly took place in the new Assemblee Nationale of the Republic of Togo. The focus was on education and science. Former Minister of Culture and current MP Prof. Germaine Koumealo Anate was able to provide good insights into the challenges and opportunities of the Togolese education system. In the afternoon, a meeting was held with the President of the University of Lome, Prof. Dodzi Komia Kokoroko, and representatives of the university's academic staff on the campus of Togo's largest university with over 40,000 students and 8 faculties. Here, too, there was great interest in the Austrian Africa UniNet program presented by Dr. Kassegger.
On Thursday, December 2, 2021, a working meeting was held with the Education Committee of the Ghanaian Parliament. The working meeting was chaired by the Chairperson of the Committee, Ms. Kwabena Amankwah-Asiamah. The focus of the discussions was on the topic of dual education, whose respective modes of operation, tasks and challenges were presented from the Austrian side by Dr. Kassegger and from the Ghanaian side by the Deputy Minister in the Ministry of Education, Hon. Gifty Twum Ampofo. In addition, the Austrian Africa-UniNet program was presented by Ms. Hafenecker. In the afternoon of the same day, a meeting took place at the headquarters of the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) in Accra. WANEP is supported by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) with a total of 1.5 million euros in the period 2021 to 2025, operates in 15 West African countries with its own secretariats and aims to strengthen the development of a civil society capable of promoting sustainable peace. The main task of WANEP is to record, collect and structure information on threats to peace, as the Regional Director for Ghana, Dr. Festus Kofi Aubyn, explained in his presentation.