The second decade of education for Africa (2006-2015), promoted by the African Union (AU), is to be launched in Maputo on 8 September. The launch is to be preceded by the extra-ordinary session of the conference of ministers of education of the AU (COMEDAF) at the Joaquim Chissano conference centre 4-7 September. Participants will assess progress in reaching the second United Nations millennium development goal of achieving universal primary education by 2015 in addition to approving the draft plan of action for the coming decade.

A report produced by the AU earlier this year states that an evaluation of the first Decade of Education for Africa (1997 2006) revealed that most of the goals set in the Decade Plan of Action have not yet been achieved. The reasons cited include lack of investment and conflict, which affected 21 countries in the region during the decade, disrupting education systems and undermining progress.

The new plan of action will focus on improving the quality of education on offer at all levels as well as making it more widely available. 8 September is international literacy day.