From an adult education perspective, the East Africa/Horn of Africa region is characterised by two categories of countries, namely countries with well-established adult education systems and countries marked by conflict and civil war over long periods of time and with high levels of illiteracy and poverty. Recent exploration of the status of adult education in various countries in the region has indicated that well-established countries have put adult education policies, guidelines and structures in place, yet few reach the target number of adults as per their planned objectives, and poverty levels remain high. Most countries prefer an integrated approach that combines adult literacy with livelihood initiatives and non-formal skill training options and are eager for new approaches that can deliver results. Countries marked by years of war and conflict require massive efforts at grassroots level alongside interventions at policy level.
Tanzania has been included in the regional portfolio as a new partner country since 2020. With the start of the project, the relocation of the regional office from Ethiopia – which has coordinated the East Africa regional programme since 2002 – to Tanzania is planned for mid-2021. In addition to Tanzania and Ethiopia, DVV international’s engagement in East Africa also includes the Uganda country office.
For many years, DVV International has been involved in various regional initiatives, such as conferences, exchange visits and seminars, in countries like Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Djibouti and South Sudan. Increased cooperation developed with Tanzania and ultimately led to its inclusion as a third partner country. The regional approach of DVV International provides for close cooperation among the partner countries. It is based on a common systemic approach, the Adult Learning and Education System Building Approach, which was developed in Uganda and Ethiopia. Professionals from the partner countries support each other in analyses and studies as well as in the implementation of trainings and evaluations.