The Mauritius – Africa Initiative
The Mauritius – Africa Initiative on ECCE focuses on:
 Capacity building on ECCE policy making (based on a
multi-sectorial strategies and approaches focusing
equality in life chances and social inclusion), through
peer-to-peer knowledge sharing, research and info-doccom; targeting high national cadres/leaders in SS Africa;
based on partnership programmes South/SouthNorth/South and the setting up of a regional “knowledge
hub” in Mauritius (pilot with IOC members, Tanzania and
Research and advocacy focusing on ECCE as a
comprehensive and holistic education and socio-economic
policy, representing the key factor for equalizing life
chances, contributing to poverty reduction and social
inclusion (with MDGs and EFA as references) and
promoting basic social-economic, cultural and human
rights in the Sub-Sahara African.
Strengthening a UN common approach and coordinated
strategy towards ECCE based on UN Reform principles
and MDGs.
Bi‐annual meeting held in 2006 in Gabon
 The need for more comprehensive ECCE/D regional
approaches and policies at Sub‐Saharan Africa level
was highlighted.
In response to that, Mauritius has invited representatives
from Sub Sahara Africa countries, in April 2007, to
convene at a regional workshop on the EFA Global
Monitoring Report “Strong Foundations".
A first concept note was produced entitled “Towards
a New Partnership for a global ECCD/E initiative in
Sub‐Saharan Africa – 2007‐2010”, which
expressed the need to focus efforts on capacity
building for strategy and programme design and
Participants have identified Mauritius to serve as a
regional “knowledge hub” for capacity building and
practices sharing
Seminar “Investing in Early Child Development: a
Matter of Urgency”, organized by the Norwegian
Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) in
April 2008 in Oslo.
The ADEA Working Group on Early Childhood
Development (ADEA WGECD), met in Dakar in
September 2008
 encouraged Mauritius to pursue the initiative’s
The pilot phase has begun in April 2009, with a 15 days
intensive study/exchange visit to Norway, undertaken by a
team of 5 Mauritian policy makers and cadres responsible for
ECCE/D national policy implementation (ECCE National
Authority, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Women Rights,
Children and Family Welfare, Mauritius Institute of
The intensive exchange/study programme has included seminar, workshop,
visits in Oslo and Bergen, involving policy makers and practitioners from :
• Ministry of Children
• Youth and Family Welfare
• Ministry of Education and Research
• Ministry of Health and Care Services
• Ombudsman for Children
• University of Oslo and Municipality of Oslo,
• Statped Vest
• Child Watch International
• NOVA (Research Institute)
• University of Bergen
• Local authorities for children and family affairs.
After the success of the pilot of April 2009, the program has now reached a
turning point in terms of activities design and implementation as well as
partnership building.
Following ADEA Fourth African International Conference on Early
Childhood Development (November 2009): From Policy to Action:
Expanding Investment in ECD for Sustainable Development; the Mauritius
– Africa Initiative has been fully integrated into the ADEA WGECD plan of
action and the UNESCO Basic Education in Africa Program (BEAP).
Initially as a special group within the “Female
Participation Group” of the ADEA (now FAWE).
The special group was driven by committed
professionals coming from 11 Sub‐Saharan
Africa countries, leading integrated young child
development programming at national and
regional level.
Goal of the WGECD:
 encourage and support African governments to
commit to and invest in ECD.
 Its work is underpinned by four Cornerstones:
Start at the beginning (prenatal to age 3 years);
Get ready for success (3 to 6 years);
Improve primary school quality (6 to 8 years)
Include early childhood in policies (ECD and multi‐sector
policies, plans, legislation,standards and guidelines).
Objectives of the WGECD:
 Advocacy and mobilization of political and public
 Contribution to the knowledge base on ECD in Africa
by facilitating research, capacity and
 knowledge building, dissemination and exchange;
 Stimulating policy review, development,
implementation and monitoring;
 Motivating partnership building and networking;
 Strengthening its administrative base.
ICQN serve as catalysts for knowledge creation and information sharing.
Provide a platform for African education actors to share their experiences and
lessons learnt in order to enhance their own policies and practices within their
particular countries.
Seek to bring together representatives of education ministries from different
countries in dialogue with education experts create a network of actors around
a central thematic issue.
The ICQNs thus, enable ADEA in collaboration with its partners, to respond
supportively to the varying contexts in which education is implemented on the
continent and the challenges that may emerge as a result.
o Bring together countries facing similar
challenges with strategic partners who have
expertise in a specific field to promote
dialogue, collective learning and space for
collaborative action.
Bring the broader vision of ADEA as it seeks to;
• Promote dialogue and partnerships;
• Develop consensus
education in Africa;
• Reinforce African Ministries' capacities to develop,
manage, and implement education policies;
• Promote the sharing of experiences and successful
• Promote
projects, and programs.
The Mauritius-Africa Initiative aims at reinforcing
capacities of SSA countries in ECD, throughout
the setting up of a regional platform for capacity
building programs and peer-to-peer knowledge
and best practices exchanges, centered on
south-south/south north cooperation, with
Mauritius identified as the “knowledge hub” for
the purpose.
Mauritius stands out as one of the Sub-Saharan African
Countries that is doing exceptionally well, in:
 strategizing,
 planning
 delivering quality ECCE services.
Impressive results towards access with over 98 per cent
enrolment rate in pre-primary education.
Strong and efficient partnership with the different stakeholders
The setting up of the Childhood Care Education Authority
which is the regulatory body mandated to oversee that the
legal framework and institutional framework are being
Mauritius has put ECD at the centre of its national
agenda by focusing on:
 pre-primary education services
 enrolment (3 to 5years old),
 together with various inter-sectoral social
schemes for the period of age 0 to 8 years.
Recent efforts made to consolidate initiatives on ECD by following
more holistic approaches and inter-sectoral strategies, through:
the constitution of the Early Childhood Care and Education
Authority, governmental body coordinating ministries and
agencies involved in ECD;
› integrating ECD into the overall socio-economic development
and poverty reduction paradigm aiming at reducing inequalities
in life chances and promoting social inclusion. In particular, ECD
figures as top priority for the newly established Ministry of Social
Integration and Economic Empowerment responsible for poverty
alleviation strategies development.
Mauritius as a “Knowledge Hub”
› Presence of several institutions (Public &
Private) and national agencies engaged in ECD
› The bi-lingual proficiency of Mauritian human
Clear process towards the creation of a cluster of
“knowledge hubs” at country level, serving the
region – Government of Mauritius
 To
develop training program for policy makers
, high officials and cadres responsible for ECE
in the Sub Saharan African Countries aiming at
developing their awareness of the rationale ,
urgency and financially sustainable options for
accelerating the delivery of ECE services and
programs as well the technical skills to achieve
the above
In order to move toward achieving its broader objectives,
the ECD ICQN/MAI will undertake the following activities:
• Training programs,
• Community of Practice (COP) for knowledge and
operational research activities,
• Punctual technical support (partners and programs),
• Advocacy
Drafting of conceptual note on the ICQN
Drafting of Memorandum of Understanding for
the hosting of the ICQN /ECD
Developing a costed Strategic Plan for 20132015 ( activities , reposnbilities , timelines
resources )
Responsbility : ICQN Core Team/ WGECD
Time Line : December 2013
Setting up a dedicated Secretariat for the ICQN
on ECD at the ECCEA by the host country(
November 2013 )
Mobilise Financial resources and secure hosting
Create job description and recruit staff (
executive secretary) by host country ( Dec 2013)
 Set
up a multisectoral committee chaired by
the Senior Executive and work out its ToR by
the hots country by December 2013
Set up a steering committee chaired by Minister of
Education ( Mauritius ) and work out its ToR by
host country ( January 2013 )
Members of the steering committee : Ministers of
Education of ICQN countries
Build linkages with regional African initiatives –
Big Push, Side meetings at UNESCO GC Meeting
, RECs , AU, , identify potential ICQN/ECD
countries by the hots country ( Jan –Mar2014 )
Official correspondence to Ministers of ICQN countries and other
partners by host country ( Dec 2013)
Formalise country focal points from all ICQN countries (by host
country ( Dec 2013)
Arrange meeting of ICQN Ministers at the UNESCO GC meeting in
Paris and in others forums by host country WGECD/ADEA ( Nov
2013 )
Hold Pan African meeting of ECD experts on thematic areas realted
to national policy making ,viz, financing , curriculum and
pedagogogy , data needs and early education for minority and lowincome children by host country WGECD/ADEA (April 2014)
Organise an ICQN Ministerial meeting in Mauritius to validate Action
Plan by host country WGECD/ADEA ( Aug/ Sept 2014)
 Develop
a framework of ECD in Africa by by host country
An integrated approach to ECD , Early Childhood Care –
 Health
and nutrition;
 Child rights and protection;
 Professionalisation of teachers;
 Quality assurance;
 Early detection and referral (SEN);
 Building partnerships with stakeholders at national,
regional & international level.
Develop database of active ECD organisations by WGECD/
ADEA/HC (Dec 2013 - Jan 2014 )
Develop database of active successful ECD programmes by
WGECD/ ADEA/HC (Dec 2013 – March 2014 )
Conduct analytical work –development of a Child
Development Index , development of a framework for
monitoring and improving quality ECD services by WGECD/
ADEA/HC (2014 )
Develop strutures for ongoing translation and engagement
across languages of member countries ( English, French ,
Portuguese services by WGECD/ ADEA/HC (2014)
Organise business meetings by services by WGECD/
ADEA/Host Country (2014 )
Develop a Communication Strategy to share workings of
ICQN by WGECD/ ADEA/HC ( Jan –Mar 2014 )
Creation of website , blog , publication of policy briefs ,
newsletter , articles services by WGECD/ ADEA/HC ( Feb
2014 )
Recruitment of web manager by host country ( jan 2014)

ICQN Presentation - Pretoria, South Africa 2