by BartholomMAT ARMENGOL and Jean-Pierre DUBOIS
Financial aspects and geographical breakdown
Education and training accounted for about 16% of total
commitments to the Associated States of Africa and Madagascar under the 1st EDF,
but their share had dropped considerably, to only 9 %, by the 4th EDF (Lom).
Under LomI, national and regional training schemes
represented about ECU 268 m, i.e. slightly more than 8% of the 5th EDF (national
and regional) programme funds, and there were training operations in some of the
projects on top of this. But the vast majority (85 % of operations and 87 % of
investment) was independent of projects and in most cases involved multiannual
training programmes consisting mainly of study grants, seminars and tailormade
technical assistance operations.
The situation in the different regions varied widely, with a
high percentage of training schemes in Southern Africa and the Caribbean and a
very low one in Central Africa and in the Horn (see box).
With LomII, the current total for known training schemes -
i.e. both tied to and independent of projects and programmes - approaches the
ECU 265 m mark, which is roughly 5.6% of (national and regional) programme funds
under the 6th EDF. There is a difference with LomI here, in that this amount
includes the training component of the major programmes and a reasonable
assessment of the sums spent on education in the projects and programmes which
went before the EDF Committee in 1989.
Regional differences persist. Although training schemes account
for 5.6% of the 6th EDF programme funds overall, the Southern African percentage
is far greater than that. The Caribbean figure is almost entirely accounted for
by a heavy regional training component, as it was under LomI, while Southern
Africa has a very large number of training (in the formal sense of the word)
projects at both national and regional level.
And training represents a very small percentage of EDF-financed
schemes in Central Africa, as it does in the Horn.
Lastly, the major training component in the coastal states of
West Africa is very largely due to the emphasis on training schemes in Nigeria.
Multiannual training programmes are a thing of the past almost
everywhere, but independent projects still account for a considerable volume of
activity and investment and understandably so, since training programmes cannot
just confine them-selves to the requirements of the focal sector, but have to
bear general needs in mind too.
So, in financial terms, training schemes account for less under
LomII than they did under LomI (ECU 265 m, or 5.6% of programme funds, as
compared to ECU 268 m, or 8%).
This overall reduction works out very differently in the
regions. Whereas the amounts spent on projects remain comparable in coastal and
East Africa, there is an increase in Southern Africa and West Africa and a drop
in Central Africa - a trend which has emerged among the funders too and in the
countries South of the Sahara, which have been spending less and less on
education over the past few years.
This decline in the amount the Community channels into training
reflects the ACPs own reservations about their education and training
systems - many of them seem to put no priority on educational support, in spite
of the negative effect which structural adjustment programmes have on their
education budget - as well as a change in the kind of schemes which it finances.
The Community began by financing educational infrastructure and
then gradually added to this, from Yaound onwards, by paying for study grants
and courses, sending out teaching staff, running special vocational training
programmes and, more recently, promoting cooperation between institutions and
The percentage of financing spent on infrastructure has
decreased over the various Conventions and that spent on technical assistance
and grants considerably increased.
Since the 1st EDF, the Community has financed a large number of
primary and secondary education schemes, mainly building schools and teacher
training, and this has partly continued under Lom11, in particular with
financing for microprojects and refugee relief programmes (Article 204 of LomII) and, in some cases, use of the counterpart funds accruing from the various
But the bulk of Community aid has gone into the tertiary sector,
both (and above all) into building and equipment and then, under LomI
especially, increasingly into support packages combining technical assistance
with equipment, staff improvement programmes, study grants and building and
This tertiary sector drive includes general backing for
universities and more targeted support, particularly for vocational technical
training, science and mathematics, management, statistics, rural development and
animal and human health, and it reflects a general trend among the funders and
the ACP countries themselves, all of which have channelled a huge percentage of
resources into education and advanced training.
The inter-institutional and inter-university cooperation of
which there were one or two cases under Lom has been stepped up considerably
under LomI, the largest number of schemes being in Nigeria and the countries
of Southern Africa. The Third Convention in fact emphasises the importance of
this departure and the Community cannot but encourage it.
Community-financed technical cooperation has taken other forms
too. Funds have been provided for one or two trainer-experts in education
ministries to help with the identification and running of training schemes in
Swaziland (technical assistance at the Ministry of Education), Nigeria
(formation of a Training Support Unit taking in the National Universities
Commission, the NAO, the Ministry of Technology and the Ministry of Education),
Sudan (Sudanese technical assistance with running the training programme) and
Tanzania (in the big ASSP programme). But this type of cooperation remains an
exception as far as the Community is concerned.
More common is the support given to ACP training institutions,
often in the form of internal technical assistance with management, teaching or
staff improvement programmes, as follows:
- Management support for programmes to put people in the picture
about anti-desertification in the Sahel and in the coastal states of West
- Teaching support for institutions - pre-university science and
mathematics training in various countries of Southern Africa, support for the
University of Swaziland, for the Veterinary Faculty of Zimbabwe University, for
Universities and Polytechnics in Nigeria etc.
- Staff Improvement Programmes - support for Makerere (Uganda),
Uniswa (Swaziland), etc.
Another form of technical assistance involves organising ad hoc
training courses locally, with European technical assistance, preferably as part
of major programmes (such as the development of the Mono in Benin and support
for training in the cooperative movement in Tanzania).
EEC and/or ACP consultants may also be sent out to identify
training programmes, as has happened in Sudan, Nigeria, Swaziland, Uganda, the
Solomon Islands, Benin and so on.
And there are the scholarship programmes. Although aid for
training seems to involve a constantly dwindling number of study grants (this
includes those for Europe), the decline is far from being as great as figures
suggest, because LomII grants only began to be committed in late 1988 and the
biggest commitments are yet to come.
The majority of ACP grant-holders in Europe study in the United
Kingdom, followed by France and Belgium. This is easily explained by the
traditional links with the former metropolises and by the fact that
English-speaking ACP countries predominate. Language plays its part here, in
spite of the effort some Member States have made with specialised (often
post-graduate) programmes in English and/or French for developing country
Aspects of implementation
The Community began by financing training schemes, mainly
through its multiannual training programmes - tailor-made study grant and
technical assistance package.
LomII made an important change here and one which reflected
an attitude which many funders adopted too. It involved focusing aid on certain
sectors and, therefore, integrating the training schemes into the various
programmes and projects, thus bringing the courses more into line with the
specific needs of the economy and perhaps ensuring a better spread of training
possibilities, to the benefit of informal and professional vocational subjects,
so as to help make for greater democracy of opportunity.
The programming of programme-and project-linked training schemes
fell badly behind under LomII. In many cases, the relevant training was not
even identified, let alone provided, before the arrival of the technical
assistance team responsible for running the programme, and some times not so for
several years after approval of the programme by the Commission.
At the same time, specific support for national and regional
training institutes is of course still possible under LomII and many such
operations have been run. And there are training programmes which are based on
studies of exact needs and better integrated than the old multiannual ones used
The Community is now making a considerable effort to improve its
identification and programming of training schemes - an effort which may help to
explain the delay in financial commitments - but it still does not have the
human resources it needs, either in Brussels or in the Delegations, to improve
the quality and quantity of these operations. Accordingly there is no guarantee
of proper follow-up. The decline in the relative value of training funds from
Lom l to LomII in fact corresponds to a considerable increase in the
number of training schemes, particularly in Southern Africa and Nigeria.
The various aspects of the volume of finance channelled into
training schemes are not necessarily significant, although the decline in
resources spent on education and training does not, of course suggest that it is
high on the Communitys list of priorities. The decisive thing is the
contribution which training makes to the viability of development projects and
to the improvement of training institutes required for national development.
This contribution will be improved by a more precise definition of training
needs and by tighter contol at the stage of project definition.
This means that, even though the Community does not see training
and education as a priority in its relations with the ACPs, its work in this
field is vital nonetheless, bearing in mind the restrictive attitude of many of
the funders and the reluctance of the ACP countries themselves.
The Community still has an effort to make here, however, as in
many cases it has still not managed to bring in the training schemes needed to
improve the viability of development projects.