African Bureau for Educational Sciences (ABES) / Bureau Africaine des Sciences de l’Education (BASE)

HISTORY AND PRESENT STATUS

The idea to establish an African Bureau for Educational Sciences dates back to 1961 in Addis Ababa and to 1968 in Nairobi, when meetings of African Ministers of Education and Planning expressed the wish to establish a permanent organ that could regroup and co-ordinate the various institutions responsible for research and training in education in Africa with a view to promoting education and international co-operation in education.

The idea was concretised during the 6th session of the World Association of Educational Sciences (AMSE) and ABES was formally established in September 1973 in Paris during 6th Congress of the then International Association for the Advancement of Educational Research (IAAER), currently World Association for Educational Research (WAER).

ABES became a Specialised Agency of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in March 1986. Its headquarters were transferred from Kisangani to Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo in September 1987.

The four main objectives, which form the basis of the ABES programme, are:

• To initiate and promote national and regional research in education with a view to help African countries in their educational reforms;

• To organise, through seminars, symposia and other conferences at national and regional levels, the training of researchers and trainers in education;

• To ensure the publication and dissemination of scientific information in education and training resulting from studies and researches in educational sciences in order to help African States in their common effort to promote and re-adjust their various educational reforms; and

• To break the isolation of national centres and institutions for research and training in education in Africa by developing inter-African and international co-operation in education and training.


OTHER DEPARTMENTS AND COOPERATING ORGANISATIONS

• Department of Education


RELEVANT TREATIES/PROTOCOLS ETC

•OAU Charter

The OAU Charter was adopted on 23 May 1963. South Africa was admitted to the OAU on 23 May 1994 and the OAU Charter became binding on South Africa on that same date.

• ABES Charter


GENERAL COMMENTS

All OAU member states are de facto members of ABES, although individual membership of states is required in order to establish more definite co-operation relations and to benefit from all its activities. This membership is acquired by signing or ratifying its charter. The activities of ABES are currently being hampered by the ongoing war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where it has its headquarters.

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2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa