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Secretary-General to address Council for Education in the Commonwealth annual conference

22 August 2017

Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland will deliver the keynote address at a major education conference in Namibia next week.

More than 230 people will attend the Council for Education in the Commonwealth’s annual conference in Windhoek from 28 to 30 August, the first time it has been held outside the UK.

In addition to ministers from the Government of Namibia, attendees will include The Association of Commonwealth Universities, the British High Commission, former UNESCO personnel, and a wide range of education stakeholders from across the Commonwealth. There will also be keynote speakers from South Africa, Kenya and Grenada.

The Secretary-General, who is on mission to the African nation for the first time, will also be meeting with President Hage Geingob, as well as other senior figures, to discuss Commonwealth priorities and identify areas of possible collaboration and support.

This year’s conference, titled ‘Leading the Elephant out of the Bush – Education and Business together Bridging the Gap’, will explore ways in which education, business and industry can work together to ensure financially sustainable and innovative approaches to education. It will also aim to teach the current and next generation of entrepreneurs and teachers to thrive in the 21st Century workplace.

Secretary-General Scotland said: “I am honoured to be speaking at the Council for Education in the Commonwealth’s annual conference, which is being held for the first time outside of the UK. The Council, founded more than 50 years ago at the first Commonwealth Education Ministers meeting, plays such an important role in addressing some of the education challenges by bringing together professionals from across our member states to discuss practical solutions to support governments to achieve their goals.

“This year’s conference in Namibia highlights the dynamic and symbiotic relationship between education, employment and economic development, which all Commonwealth countries depend on for a future of sustainable prosperity.

“I also look forward to meeting with President Geingob to discuss a number of important issues on which the Commonwealth can provide support.”

The Secretary-General’s visit will also focus on Commonwealth priorities such as the upcoming Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers Meeting, and next year’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.