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                                                                House of Commons – House of Lords
The Newsletter of the Council for Education in the Commonwealth,
Summer, 2006

MEMBERS, 2006-7
                                          Forthcoming Event
Lord Judd of Portsea                      CEC News
Lord Thomson of Monifieth KT PC
Baroness Chalker of Wallasey PC              Annual General Meeting 2006
Joint Parliamentary Chairpersons             Three Year Plan, 2006 – 2009
Tim Boswell MP                               Vote Of Thanks to Lalage Bown
Simon Hughes MP                              Conference 2006: State, Philanthropy
Sally Keeble MP                              and Profit in Education Today
Executive Chairperson                        UPE Research Project
Valerie Davey                                Personal
Deputy Executive Chairpersons             Commonwealth News
Peter Williams                                 ComSec Publications
One vacancy                                    Institute of Commonwealth Studies
Honorary Treasurer                             Commonwealth Youth Project Nkabom
Richard Mawditt OBE
Honorary Secretary                        Other News of Interest to CEC Members
Kees Maxey
Secretaries                                    UNESCO at 60
Dr Balasubramanyam Chandramohan,          Special Features
Projects Secretary
Peter Jeffreys, Membership Secretary           The Prime Minister’s Speech at King’s
Parliamentary Liaison Officer                  College, London.
Martin Kenyon
Governing Board Members                        Keynote Speech at Annual Conference
Trevor Bottomley, Dr. Jonathan Jenkins,        Rt Hon Lord Holme of Cheltenham
Thelma Henderson, Dr. Alba de Souza,      Commonwealth Education Calendar
Geoffrey Hulme, CB, Deryn Holland, Dr.
John Oxenham, Dr. Felicity Binns, Dr.          Compiled by Peter Williams, for the
Rosemary Preston, Mo Sibbons                   Commonwealth Consortium on
Co-opted Member Prof. Lalage Bown,             Education – on the website elsewhere
Mark Robinson
                           FORTHCOMING EVENT
                                FOR YOUR DIARY

                 CREATING LITERATE
               THE ROLE OF LIBRARIES


                                   TIME: 3.00 TO 5.00 PM

                   IN THE CLEMENT ATTLEE SUITE
                             (Nearest tube station is Westminster)

                         CHAIRPERSON: SALLY KEEBLE MP,
                         Joint Parliamentary Chairperson CEC

 ‘Putting books into the hands of the world's most disadvantaged readers’, is the mission of
Book Aid International and will be central to Sara Harrity’s talk to the CEC. Book Aid International
works in 18 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and also in Palestine, providing over half a million
books and journals each year to libraries, hospitals, refugee camps and schools. UNESCO
established International Literacy Day as an occasion on which to remind ourselves of the many
people, children and adults, who have never learned to read or write or who have the skills but
can't afford books or writing materials; it is also a day on which to celebrate success stories in
spreading literacies of all kinds. It reminds those of us who live in a world of computers that there
are many people who don't have even a book.

Portcullis House, on the corner of Westminster Bridge Road and the Embankment, is the new
"annexe" to the House of Commons, with many members' offices, committee rooms for the
transaction of business etc. Its architecture has been admired and the trees in the central atrium
have caused much comment.

                                                      stood for re-election. A special vote of
CEC NEWS                                              thanks was given to Prof. Lalage Bown, the
                                                      Deputy Executive Chairperson. The text of
                                                      which is given later in this newsletter.
                                                      THE THREE YEAR PLAN,
                                                      2006 – 2009
The AGM was chaired by Simon Hughes,
MP – with one of our patrons, Lord                    During the last few years, the AGM has
Thomson of Monifieth, and Mr. Tim                     regularly been presented with a draft three
Boswell MP attending along with 36 other              year rolling plan for the CEC‟s activities;
members. Peter Williams and Jonathan                  members have a chance to comment and
Jenkins were re-elected to the Governing              then the final version is approved by the
Board, along with Rosemary Preston (who               next Board meeting after the AGM. It has
had previously been a co-opted members)               given the CEC a framework for action and a
and Mo Sibbons.                                       means of giving the Board greater
                                                      accountability to the wider membership. The
Along with the usual business of an AGM,              current plan has been approved by the July
the Annual Report was presented to the                Board and will be distributed to all
meeting – and a copy is circulated with this          members. It has taken a slightly different
newsletter. In addition, the Executive                form this year. It is more succinct, but
Chairperson, Valerie Davey, presented her             includes more general information about
reflections under the heading of                      CEC. The idea is that it will additionally be
“Celebration and Challenge” – and this is             useful as a general information leaflet for
also circulated with the Newsletter. Both             enquirers and possible new members.
                                      ts are on
                                                      VOTE OF THANKS TO
                                      Council‟        LALAGE BOWN ON BEHALF
                                      s               OF CEC BY
                                      website.        PETER WILLIAMS
                                      It was
                                      agreed          This is in no sense a valedictory to Lalage
                                      that a          Bown since we hope she will continue to
                                      residenti       serve on the Governing Board for a time in a
                                      al              co-opted capacity. But since she intends to
                                      conferen        stand down as Joint Deputy Executive Chair
                                      ce              and Chair of the Programmes, Projects and
                                      should          Communications Committee, it is an
                                      be held         appropriate moment to acknowledge the
                                      to take         contribution that Lalage has made to CEC in
                                      these           these roles.
                                      reflectio       Everyone here will regret that Lalage has
ns forward in the first half of 2007. Dr.             decided not to stand for re-election to the
Nemata Eshun-Baiden gave a lively                     Governing Board. She sits in the safest of
presentation about the impact of the                  safe seats on the CEC Executive where her
Knowledge Aid programme in Sierra Leone               colleagues would like to keep on re-electing
and the way it is helping the development of          her not only well past her demise, but right
curriculum in secondary schools there.                up to the point where it was conclusively
Finally a vote of thins was given to Amanda           proved to us that resurrection was not
Pitt and to Gari Donn, neither of whom                merely improbable but completely

impossible. I am sure she knows she would             completed for the Commonwealth
never be pushed and it is typical of her that         Secretariat in time for 14CCEM in Halifax,
she has decided to jump of her own free               and published a year or two later. In 2003
accord.                                               she organised the major Conference at
                                                      Lensbury Park with our Nigerian colleagues
Lalage‟s cover story is that she is a lady of a
                                                      led by Kabiru Isyaku who is happily with us
certain age who will next year be passing a
                                                      today. Is it coincidence that Kabiru retires
significant milestone. However she charges
                                                      from the National Commission for Colleges
around like a 50-year old, regularly walking
                                                      of Education at the same time as Lalage
half a mile and more to catch 6a.m. trains
                                                      retires as our Deputy Executive Chair?
from Shrewsbury to London to attend our
                                                      Coincidence or collusion? They should
meetings, and on purpose keeping her study
                                                      watch their step – it‟s the kind of crime that
in Shrewsbury up two long flights of stairs.
                                                      British Airways has been accused of this
Surely this lady is indefatigable and so we
                                                      week and may cost it a few million dollars!
must look for other or additional causes of
                                                      The fourth in this long list of major
her going.
                                                      professional contributions is her current
I suspect she has decided not to stand again          direction of the project for the
for the most sensible and noblest of reasons.         Commonwealth Secretariat on the
She saw she could make a special                      sustainability of UPE, which will be an input
contribution to CEC when she joined the               into 16CCEM in Cape Town.
Executive seven years ago: she has made
                                                      As Deputy Chair of the Programme Projects
that contribution, the organisation is in as
                                                      and Communications Committee she has
good health as it has ever been thanks
                                                      worked unremittingly to ensure that CEC‟s
largely to her efforts, and it is time to move
                                                      Annual Conferences like today‟s, the
on. A good lesson for us all.
                                                      Annual Lectures, and the programme of
I won‟t try to enumerate all Lalage‟s many            meetings, have met the highest standards of
contributions to CEC. We have benefited               interest and good organisation. She played a
from her tremendous depth of experience of            big part in getting our first Study Visit to
education development and the wealth of               Malta organised. She has set our projects
connections that she has generously put at            work on a good path and has overseen
our disposal, greatly extending our network           positive developments in our
of contacts. She has been a wonderful                 communications strategy. She has
Ambassadress for CEC at CCEMs,                        personally rescued our newsletter from a
CHOGMs, delegations to Ministers and in               somewhat moribund state to become a
so many other forums: the most eloquent of            regular service to members full of
spokespersons conveying blunt messages                interesting material. She has worked
with enormous charm. In the Governing                 diligently, unremittingly and
Board she has always been full of good                uncomplainingly even though this has so
sense, urging us on to useful and necessary           often meant picking up the baton that other
reforms including a much better gender                members of the team have let slip and
balance than ever we had previously.                  running with it to the finishing line herself.
For many of our members one of the first              However, despite this full repertoire of
things that will come to mind about Lalage            tangible achievements, Lalage‟s greatest
is the scholarship and unremitting hard work          contribution to CEC is surely the warm and
she has brought to the Council, on four               generous spirit that she has brought to all
major initiatives in particular. First, she           our deliberations and endeavours. She is
chaired the Group that produced the                   always positive and supportive of her
influential report: Student Mobility on the           colleagues and full of praise and
Map published in 2000. Then she edited the            appreciation for their efforts. She sees the
important volume on 40 years of                       best in us, encouraging us to take on
Commonwealth Education Co-operation                   responsibilities and develop our capabilities,

however limited they may be. By believing            CEC‟s AGM was held as usual during the
in us she encourages us to believe in                conference. It is customary to close
ourselves. We all feel better for having her         conferences soon after 4. 30 pm, but this
among us. Lalage is an archetypal capacity           year some members were so absorbed in the
builder and if we in CEC now have some               subjects raised that it was difficult to
capacity we are well aware who has played            persuade them to leave when our hosts in the
the major part in building it. Thank you,            British Council were due to go home!
Lalage: our debt to you is incalculable.
                                                     Members and guests were welcomed to the

Held at the British Council on June
27, 2006
Historically, education was provided in
most of the world by private philanthropists,
religious bodies and local communities until
the nineteenth century, when the state
stepped in. In the Commonwealth, India
was a pioneer of state intervention and
regulation. Since then, with ideas of
universal access and of education as a right,
it has been taken for granted that the state         British Council by Mark Baumfield,
should be the main provider. It is                   Director of Strategic Partnerships, who said
governments who have signed up to                    that his new brief (which includes
Education for All and programmes of                  Commonwealth liaison) was a result of the
capacity-building have focused on                    Council‟s restructuring. He reminded those
government institutions. Recently, when it           present of major educational and youth
has seemed unlikely that governments by              programmes in which the Council was
themselves can deliver EFA, particularly in          involved and of their relevance to the
poor countries, there has been renewed               countries of the Commonwealth and the
interest in other sectors playing a greater          CCEM. Valerie Davey, CEC‟s Executive
role, either as partners, managers, funders or       Chairperson, thanked him and said that she
direct providers and in how can their                looked forward to increasing cooperation
interventions be best made use of. If                with the British Council in future. She
international NGOs or private businesses are         reminded everyone of the urgent educational
involved in any of these ways, there are             needs of young people throughout the
issues of responsibility and accountability          Commonwealth, particularly those who
and also of relations with the state and with        were not in any school.
local communities.
                                                     The keynote address given by Lord Holme
This year‟s conference was planned to focus          of Cheltenham will be found later in this
on some of these highly topical issues. It           Newsletter. The contributions of other
was very well attended and participants              speakers will be published in a subsequent
included a group of Nigerian teachers‟               edition. The main topics and speakers were:
college principals, led by Dr Kabiru, Isyaku,          The Private Sector and For-Profit
chief executive of the Nigerian National             Institutions
Council for Colleges of Education. The

  Peter Longworth, Director, Government              The third group examined the pros and cons
and Public Affairs, Commonwealth                     of faith-based schools in comparison with
Business Council                                     secular or private institutions. The strongest
  Richard Mawditt, UNESCO Professor of               argument for faith-based education was that
Higher Education Management, University              it provided a moral framework and a sense
of Bath (and Hon. Treasurer, CEC)                    of community, not so easily attained in
  Knowledge Aid for Sierra Leone                     secular schools. It had, however, not to be
  Nemata Eshun-Baiden, consultant                    seen as exclusive. The group were
evaluator                                            concerned about the ownership of education
  Geoffrey Hulme, Chairperson, KASL (and             and training and suggested that, whatever
member of CEC Board)                                 the providing agency, the owner must be the
The Third Sector                                     student/learner.
  The Rev. David Peck, The Archbishop of
                                                     After listening to reports from the groups,
Canterbury‟s Secretary for International
                                                     participants watched a film presented by
                                                     Prof James Tooley of the University of
  Chike Anyanwu, Coordinator,
                                                     Newcastle on private education in Ghana.
Commonwealth Education Fund.
                                                     This stirred up further questions and debate;
As is traditional in a CEC Conference,               and, as already said, it was hard to close the
participants separated into three groups to          conference down.
mull over some of the ideas and information
                                                     The CEC is very grateful to all who made
presented by the various speakers. One
                                                     the day a success, very particularly the
group picked up on the potential for other
                                                     speakers, but also the helpful British
countries of the Knowledge Aid method of
                                                     Council staff – not forgetting their caterers,
internet-assisted learning. They looked at
                                                     who produced a splendid buffet lunch and
ways of extending computer ownership
                                                     tea and coffee at regular intervals.
through the $100 computer now being
developed at the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology under the auspices of Mr Gates            UNIVERSAL PRIMARY
and saw solar energy as the best way of              EDUCATION –
solving the electricity problems of those            GETTING THERE AND
schools who have some computer work-
stations, as well as those who have no               STAYING THERE
electricity at all. They concluded that it was       A RESEARCH PROJECT FOR THE
important to enlist the private internet             COMMONWEALTH
providers as partners in educational                 SECRETARIAT
experiments through ICT.                             When Nicholas Burnett, Director of the
A second group studied the question of the           UNESCO Global Monitoring Report, spoke
accountability of NGOs, public-private               to CEC members in Parliament earlier this
partnerships and service providers. They             year, he pointed out that quite a number of
underlined the potential for added value of          countries, especially in Africa, are having
involving such actors in education,                  difficulty moving towards the goal of
especially in developing countries and said          Universal Primary Education by the year
that asking for accountability was not to be         2015, in spite of very great efforts by
seen in a negative light. They believed that         governments. They do not have enough
accountability was achievable if there was a         school places for all children and there is
clear understanding of the “contract”                often difficulty in keeping the enrolled
between these agencies and local                     children in school until the last grade. Yet
communities. The latter had to be engaged            some of the nations now struggling
in genuine partnerships, with their                  apparently achieved UPE during the second
expectations made clear and also their role          half of the 20th century, but have somehow
in advocacy.                                         lost momentum.

The CEC has been contracted by the                  PERSONAL NEWS
Commonwealth Secretariat to undertake a
small (but ambitious) research project on           Two of the CEC‟s Board members, Alba de
attaining and sustaining UPE. It has been           Souza and Kees Maxey attended the
enabled to widen the research owing to an           Commonwealth Forum on the Education of
additional grant from the University of             Nomads held at Garissa, Kenya in July,
Sussex‟s CREATE project The idea is to              2006. The meeting was organised by the
study past and recent efforts in selected           Commonwealth Secretariat and the
African countries and to pass on lessons            Commonwealth of Learning and was
learnt; the research will be presented at the       directed to practitioners in the field. Kees
Conference of Commonwealth Education                Maxey, our Honorary Secretary, is also a
Ministers (CCEM) in Cape Town in                    staff member of PENHA, the Pastoral
December 2006.                                      Education Network for the Horn of Africa.
The primary aim of the research is to
identify factors- within the education              COMMONWEALTH
system, as well as social, economic and
political -, which have at any time
contributed to successful approaches to UPE
or which have undermined, prevented or
even reversed success. There will be three
                                                    PUBLICATIONS FROM THE
major case-studies                                  COMMONWEALTH
of countries which have had a history of            SECRETARIAT
commitment to UPE and which also have
                                                    The Secretariat continues to have an
adequate statistical records to make a study
feasible: Ghana, Kenya and Zambia. There            extensive publications list. Among those
will also be “mini-studies” of Nigeria and          produced in the last year which may be of
Tanzania of a more impressionistic nature.          interest to CEC members are the following:
                                                      The Commonwealth Yearbook, 2005 – 350
The time which CEC has had in which to              pp, £55
undertake this work has been very short, so           Commonwealth Affairs: The CHOGM
a method of work was adopted which                  Reference Book 2005 – 250 pp, £35
involved researchers working in pairs, each           Early Childhood Education: Good
doing one case-study and each pair                  Practice in Achieving UPE. A handbook for
consisting of an African consultant and a           education policy-makers and practitioners
CEC volunteer. The teams met for an                 in Commonwealth countries (Quality UPE
intensive workshop in July to report on             Good Practice series), By Angela Burke-
information gathered and begin to discuss           Ramsay, edited Roli Degazon-Johnson.
interpretation, as well as to report progress       Compiled from a Caribbean early childhood
to the sponsors. The meeting was held at            education conference presented by the
Peter and Julia Williams‟s house and garden         Jamaica teachers‟ association. – 44 pp,
in Dorking, which provided a wonderfully            £8.00
congenial atmosphere. There was a general             Gender Equality: A Decade of
feeling that substantial work had been done         Commonwealth Action, ed Cheryl Dorall
and the major case-studies are on track. The        and Maryse Roberts – 244 pp, £25
first synoptic report together with all the           Adolescent and Youth Participation, Four
case-studies will be presented to the               booklets, each of 28 pp, supporting
Commonwealth Secretariat later in August.           provision of opportunities for adolescents
The whole study should be published in due          and young people to participate in the
course and CEC members will be kept                 decision-making affecting their lives – “not
informed.                                           once but every day” – Set plus free CD-
                                                    ROM, £23.

Further information on these and other                 political divisions in Northern Ireland.
useful works can be gained from the web-               Young people from Sri Lanka, India, New
site:                                                  Zealand, Uganda and Northern Ireland itself
                                                       worked with Shankill Stress and Trauma
                                                       group and TIDES that has mediation and
                                                       reconciliation projects in Pakistan, Georgia
INSTITUTE OF                                           and Afghanistan. They visited to the Bloody
COMMONWEALTH STUDIES                                   Sunday Centre and the Northern Ireland
                                                       Parliament and from their whole experience
Professor Tim Shaw, who has been the                   were able to gain new perspectives on
Director of the University of London‟s                 conflict resolution in their own societies.
Institute of Commonwealth Studies for the              The delegates from Bangladesh, Nigeria,
past five years is leaving to return to                Ghana and Gibraltar worked on
Canada. The new Director will be Professor             “Multiculturalism and community relations”
Richard Crook, at present the holder of the            in Bristol; they were introduced to that
Emeka Anyaoku Chair in Commonwealth                    city‟s varied past, and following visits to the
Studies (named after the last Secretary-               British Empire and Commonwealth Museum
General of the Commonwealth). The                      and other cultural landmarks, studied a
Institute will be advertising the chair shortly.       number of schools and community projects.
                                                       They also encountered asylum-seeking
COMMONWEALTH YOUTH IN                                  children, south Asian community groups,
BRITAIN FOR PROJECT NKABOM                             the BREAD Youth Project and YFront
Four cities across the United Kingdom                  Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Forum.
playing host in June to twenty young                   The Royal Commonwealth Society asked
persons from around the Commonwealth..                 Newcastle City Council to host delegates
As part of the Royal Commonwealth                      from Mauritius, South Africa and Jersey
Society’s Nkabom Project 2006, young                   Islands, following the success of the Youth
people worked on community-based projects              Commonwealth Heads of Government
in Bristol, Belfast, Newcastle and                     Meeting, which took place at the Civic
Cambridge. The delegates worked with                   Centre there in March. Examining the theme
local community groups and NGOs and                    “Immigration and refugees”, the visitors will
presented the findings of their project work           interacted with Children's Services at
to senior delegates (some 120 from around              Newcastle City Council, visited Heaton
the Commonwealth) at the RCS‟s biennial                Manor School‟s fair trade project and the
International Meeting 2006.                            Elvis Club in West Denton for young people
                                                       with learning difficulties. They will also had
Building on the success of the last Nkabom             the chance to learn about refugee
in Ghana 2004, the Royal Commonwealth                  communities in the North East and the
Society invited nominations for delegates              projects that work with them, at the
from its branches worldwide, and from                  International Refugee Week celebrations.
various Commonwealth organisations; this
year's delegates emerged after a rigorous              Given Cambridge‟s history and traditions
selection process. As a prelude to the                 and its status as a University town, delegates
International Meeting, they examined                   – from Ghana, Jamaica, Cyprus and Canada
together different aspects of the theme                - focused on Community development in the
“Diversity, Identity, Multiculturalism”.               context of education, how educational
                                                       outreach programmes can better deliver the
In Belfast, the delegates explored “Conflict           diversity agenda, and how local educational
resolution” in partnership with the                    models can be adapted to suit school
Corrymeela community, that promotes                    programmes in their home countries. There
reconciliation and peace-building and works            were workshops with the Cambridge based
towards healing the social, religious and

charity Harambee Centre training visits to           energy and commitment to the challenges of
Trimley St Mary‟s School in Felixstowe,              our time.”
Sussex, and Manor Community College,
                                                     In the field of education, UNESCO has had
Arbury (in association with the Romsey Mill
                                                     great influence on thinking and policies,
Trust; programme aimed at students
                                                     particularly through the Faure Report,
transiting from primary to secondary
                                                     Learning to Be of 1972 and the Delors
school). They were made aware of the
                                                     Report, Learning: The Treasure Within of
strong connections between the University
                                                     1996. At the present time, it is leading the
and the Commonwealth when they saw the
                                                     international drive towards the goal of
City Hall, the RCS's rare photograph and
                                                     Education for All (EFA), partly through the
document collection in the University
                                                     Global Monitoring Report. UNESCO has
Library and the New Cavendish Laboratory.
                                                     the following specialised educational
This was an imaginative and very well-               institutes and centres:
constructed programme and RCS deserves                 International Bureau of Education,
warm congratulations for putting it together.        Geneva;
                                                       International Institute for Capacity-
                                                     Building in Africa, Addis Ababa;
OTHER NEWS OF                                          International Institute for Educational
INTEREST TO CEC                                      Planning, Paris;
                                                       UNESCO Institute for Higher Education
MEMBERS                                              in Latin America and the Caribbean,
                                                       UNESCO Institute for Information
UNESCO AT SIXTY                                      Technologies in Education, Moscow;
UNESCO, one of the UN‟s specialised                    UNESCO Institute for Education,
agencies, was founded on November 16,                Hamburg;
1945, in the burst of optimism after the               European Centre for Higher Education,
Second World War about the possibilities of          Bucharest;
universal access to the benefits of education          International Centre for Technical and
and science and to international cultural            Vocational Education and Training.
activity. Its constitution famously says:            Uniquely in the United Nations system,
“Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is
                                                     UNESCO works in partnership with
in the minds of men that the defences of
                                                     National Commissions, working to involve
peace must be constructed”. It has 191
                                                     civil society in the organisation‟s
member states and six associated members.
It works as a “laboratory of ideas”, a
standard setter, a clearing-house for                The United Kingdom re-established a
information, a lever of resources for of             National Commission for UNESCO in
capacity-building and a catalyst for                 March 2004, with a strong Education
international cooperation. At present its five       Committee of which CEC‟s Peter Williams
major programme areas are: education;                is a member. Peter is also chair of its sub-
natural sciences; social and human sciences;         committee on Africa. The UK National
culture; and communication and                       Commission‟s government link is (perhaps
information. At its 60 th anniversary                oddly) the Department for International
celebration in Paris in November 2005, it‟s          Development. Three CEC members hold
Director-General,                                    UNESCO Chairs: Jagdish Gundara, Richard
                                                     Mawditt and John Morgan.
Mr Koichiro Matsuura, said: “what we are
celebrating today is not so much a                   To celebrate UNESCO‟s 60 th anniversary
commemoration of a past event but pride in           and to take stock of the working so far of the
our capacity to respond with courage,                UK National Commission, a conference was
                                                     held in Nottingham in June, 2006 on UK

and UNESCO: Challenges and                             since the Gleneagles G8 Summit in July
Opportunities. Around 300 people,                      2005.
including a number of CEC members took
                                                       We achieved at Gleneagles more than all,
part in what was a very successful and
                                                       but those with the most rose-tinted
informative meeting. Among speakers were:
                                                       spectacles, thought was possible. These
Prof Alec Boksenberg, Chair of the UK
                                                       issues were not high up the political agenda,
National Commission; Dr James
                                                       in the UK, let alone internationally. Now
Kulikowski, Deputy Assistant Director-
                                                       they are.
General of UNESCO; HE Tim Craddock,
UK Ambassador to UNESCO and the Rt                     That was in no small part down to the efforts
Hon Hilary Benn, Secretary of State for                of million of people mobilized by the Make
International Development. There was a                 Poverty History campaign and Live8.
range of themed discussion groups covering             But just because these issues are at the top
UNESCO‟s main current concerns,                        of the agenda now, it doesn't mean they
including education for sustainable                    couldn't easily slip down again. I will do
development, leadership in EFA and                     everything I can to ensure they don't. I hope
capacity-building in Africa.                           you will too.
SPECIAL FEATURES                                       Achievements at Gleneagles
A YEAR AFTER GLENEAGLES                                Let me recap what we actually achieved at
The Prime Minister’s Speech at King’s
College, London                                        Six months before the Gleneagles Summit,
                                                       at the annual UN talks on climate change, in
Monday, June 26, 2006                                  Buenos Aires, the EU and the US were at
                                                       loggerheads simply about whether we could
Professors, alumni, students, ladies,                  even talk about tackling climate change after
gentlemen,                                             2012, when the first stage of Kyoto
I am delighted to be here tonight and to have          expired. In fact, climate change was not
been asked to contribute to this new series of         even on the agenda at the World Summit on
commemoration lectures.                                Sustainable Development in 2003 in South
King's, of course, is an institution with a
long history and a superb reputation at home
                                                       By making climate change a priority for
and across the world. Your students and
                                                       Gleneagles, I wanted to re-start a more
staff have made a huge contribution over the
                                                       meaningful, more practical conversation
last 175 years to our knowledge and well-
                                                       between the key international players - the
                                                       G8 plus five other major emerging
The College was co-founded by one of my                economies. The aim was to get consensus
predecessors at Downing Street, even                   that we needed urgent action to address
though I'll accept that the Duke of                    climate change, to agree on practical actions
Wellington is far more famous for battles              we could take now - working with business
won outside Parliament than within.                    and consumers - to reduce emissions, and to
I am also the third Labour Prime Minister to           establish an ongoing dialogue with key
be a Commemoration Orator after Clement                countries on a strong international
Atlee and Harold Wilson. And of course,                framework for after 2012.
more recently in 2004 for your 175 th                  We achieved all three of these objectives.
anniversary, Desmond Tutu spoke.                        We established a new consensus on the
It is about Africa, as well as the challenge of        need for action which set the foundation for
climate change, that I want to talk about              much more successful UN talks on climate
tonight, and the progress we have made                 change at the end of 2005 in Montreal,

compared to the talks a year before in                 When I was in Ethiopia a year and a half
Buenos Aires. The G8 agreed a wide                     ago, I visited a project in a village just
ranging and very practical Plan of Action on           outside Addis Ababa, called Debre Zeit,
measures we could take now to clean up the             which helped children orphaned by AIDS.
way we produce and the way we all use                  And it was clear there - as it has been each
energy, and how to fund in particular                  time I have visited Africa - that the people,
developing countries to be able to access              every time, in no matter how small a way
this clean technology too. And we                      they were given the chance of a better
established the Gleneagles Climate Change              future, they took it. So it has to be a
Dialogue, with 20 of the biggest energy                partnership, a deal between developed
using countries. The next meeting of this              countries and African governments.
group will be in Mexico in October to
                                                       That's why I wanted Gleneagles to bring the
further drive forward the Gleneagles action
                                                       G8 and African leaders together to agree a
plan, and to discuss the elements of a future
                                                       detailed and comprehensive plan, which
international framework and the outcomes
                                                       addressed the multiple causes of poverty,
of the Stern review on the economics of
                                                       together and effectively.
climate change.
                                                       That's why Bob Geldof, who is here tonight,
But we also achieved some practical action.
                                                       and I established the Commission for Africa.
-    The International Energy Agency has                The Commission published its report, 'Our
developed 4 practical energy efficiency                Common Interest', in March 2005.
proposals that we are discussing at St
                                                       At Gleneagles, three months later, the G8
                                                       agreed with African leaders to implement
-    The World Bank has pushed forward                 over fifty of the detailed recommendations
planning for an investment framework to                of the Commission for Africa. As well as
lever billions of dollars to help poor                 agreeing to cancel debts and double aid for
countries get access to clean technology               Africa, there were commitments on peace-
                                                       keeping, on AIDS treatment, on free
-    The EU, under our presidency, agreed
                                                       healthcare and primary education, on
to help build a demonstration clean coal
                                                       improving infrastructure and encouraging
power station with China
-    The EU agreed a new initiative with
India on renewable technology.                         My main disappointment at Gleneagles was
                                                       that we were not able to make more progress
On Africa, I have learned two key lessons in
                                                       on trade. In a way, what was most
the last 10 years, in Sierra Leone, in
                                                       frustrating, was that the leaders there all
Rwanda, in Ethiopia and now in Sudan.
                                                       agreed that we needed a good outcome for
 Firstly, that everything is connected.
                                                       developing countries from the Doha Round,
 There's no single solution. There's no point
                                                       but the negotiations are not reflecting this. I
in providing health care if there's no clean
                                                       have worked hard since Gleneagles to turn
water. People with an education also want
                                                       this political commitment into a real
skilled jobs. There's no point having oil if it
                                                       breakthrough in the negotiations, but we are
only fuels corruption. So we need a
                                                       not there yet. The coming month will be
comprehensive approach.
And secondly, I have seen that if there is
                                                       We need an ambitious pro development
real commitment by African governments to
                                                       package that will help millions climb out of
progress, then their people will do the rest.
                                                       poverty and stimulate global growth. This
 And that's why, now matter how desperate
                                                       means further cuts in agricultural subsidies
the situation looks or how insurmountable
                                                       and significant market opening, as well as a
the obstacles appear, we can maintain hope
                                                       deal on industrial goods and most
that change is possible.
                                                       importantly a package of measures for the

poor countries that includes $4bn aid for              shown to be an incredibly powerful
trade, 100% market access and the power to             incentive for private sector action, involving
choose their own economic and trade                    around 12,000 installations across 25
polices. Everyone will have to move                    countries. This market is already estimated
beyond their comfort zones. In the coming              to be worth €5.4 billion. And the investment
month I will work to try and make this                 decisions that are being made now, both
happen. Failure would not only be a blow               within Europe and across the world, will
for the poor but the whole idea of                     determine what happens to global emissions
multilateralism.                                       in the next 15-20 years. But this also need
                                                       to go further. That's why, within the EU, I
So, that was Gleneagles. Not everything we
                                                       believe we need to give a clear, strong signal
wanted. But I genuinely think it was the
                                                       to business that the emissions trading
most that was ever likely to be achieved in
                                                       scheme should be extended and
the circumstances. At the time, some people
                                                       strengthened, after 2012 and made the heart
focused on the shortfalls. Some people just
                                                       of a global carbon market.
always do. Others recognised how much
has been achieved. Kofi Annan called                   We also need more investment in research
Gleneagles "the greatest summit for Africa             into cleaner technology, to bring that
ever." But I think everyone agreed then, and           technology from design to manufacture, and
still agree now, that the real test was yet to         to enable it to be used by households in both
come. Would these promises be kept?                    developed and developing countries. The
                                                       OECD already estimates that the market for
We are doing better than many would have
                                                       cleaner investment in developing countries
predicted a year ago. But not - of course -
                                                       through the Kyoto Protocol's Clean
fast enough on everything.
                                                       Development Mechanism is worth about
Next steps on Climate Change                           $10billion. But we know this won't be
On climate change, in the next 12 months               enough on its own. And we will need
we need to build a global consensus about              stronger action to help the poorest countries
the scale of the action we need to take, and           adapt to climate change, both now and in the
the long-term goal we're all working                   future.
towards. We need to begin agreement on a               Finally, we need to back all this up with real
framework that the major players - US,                 action to reduce UK domestic emissions.
China, India and Europe - buy into and has             The UK has already reached its target under
at its heart a goal to stabilise temperature           the Kyoto Protocol, 7 years ahead of
and green house gas concentrations. And                schedule. We will be doing twice as much
we need to accelerate discussions - we can't           as we have to by 2012. A track record very
take the 5 years it took Kyoto took to                 few can better.
                                                       Regarding our much more ambitious 20%
I believe a clear goal and a strong                    target on CO2 we are getting closer but are
framework would help spur the technology               not there yet. The energy review will be
revolution we need. It is vital to give                critical in setting out new measures to help
business the certainty it needs to invest in           us go further, including on renewables and
cleaner technology and reduce emissions, so            energy efficiency.
that they can produce the clean products
                                                       We also need to recognise that taking action
consumers want to buy.
                                                       on climate change is not just a matter for
You need goals whether you are planning a              Governments. Yes, Government needs to
government programme for developing                    give a lead. But ultimately each of us also
technologies or setting targets for the private        has a responsibility to act in our daily lives.
sector. I happen to believe in such targets            In the choices we make - whether it's in the
because I have seen them work. The EU                  energy we use at home, or how we move
emissions trading scheme has already been              around - we also can each make a

contribution towards tackling this global             programmes that will be funded from the
challenge.                                            annual savings of at least US$1 billion,
                                                      employing an extra 120,000 teachers and
Progress on Africa
                                                      sending 3.5 million children to school.
And now Africa.
                                                      In addition, the G8 - thanks to the work of
First of all, the numbers.                            Gordon Brown - agreed to cancel 100% of
At Gleneagles, we agreed to double aid for            the multilateral debts of the Highly Indebted
Africa and increase total aid for all                 Poor Countries. This could amount to a total
developing countries by $50bn a year, from            of $50 billion of relief. 14 African
$80bn in 2004 to $130bn by 2010.                      countries have already benefited from
                                                      cancellation of their debts to the IMF. The
In 2005, aid increased to over $105bn. It             World Bank and Africa Development Bank
was a huge leap - over half way to the 2010           will cancel debts owed to them in July. A
target.                                               further 18 African countries could benefit
Yes, its true, a lot of this increase in the          once they have qualified under the HIPC
figures resulted from debt cancellation for           initiative, which is to ensure that the
Iraq and Nigeria. We know that this means             resources released by debt relief go to
that - for some - there is a real challenge to        benefit poor people. Zambia has already
ensure aid figures don't fall again in 2007 or        used the resources released from this debt
2008. But we are facing up to that                    relief to make health care free for all people
challenge.                                            in rural areas.

DFID increased aid to Africa by 22% last              These increased resources should help us
year, to over                                         invest above all in better health and
£1 billion for the first time ever. The UK has        education for poor people in developing
increased aid by 140% in real terms since             countries - and to achieve the Millennium
1997.                                                 Development Goals to get all kids into
                                                      primary school, to cut infant and maternal
We are also taking forward various                    mortality rates and to tackle infectious
innovative financing mechanisms to ensure             diseases.
that aid is increased as quickly as possible.
 Along with a number of other countries,              The Polio Eradication Initiative is on-track
Gordon Brown has launched the                         to end polio transmission in all countries
International Finance Facility for                    except Nigeria by the end of 2006 though
Immunisation. It will frontload $4 billion of         extra international funding is still needed to
aid to help save five million children's lives        eradicate polio fully.
before 2015. The first bonds will go on sale          It is 25 years since AIDS was discovered.
this year. Solidarity contributions on airline        And for the first time we have in place the
tickets are another innovative way to help            means to begin to reverse the AIDS
deliver more aid - the UK already has an Air          epidemic. 8 times as many Africans are on
Passenger Duty. And with France in                    treatment now as 3 years ago - but still only
particular, we are developing an                      1 in 5 who need it, get it.
International Drug Purchase Facility
                                                      The G8 agreed that we should aim to
designed to lower the cost and improve the
availability of drugs for HIV and AIDS and            provide universal treatment for all AIDS
malaria.                                              sufferers by 2010. The UN has now agreed
                                                      that every developing country should
We are not apologetic about increasing debt           produce a plan for delivering on this
relief. Debt relief brings real benefits to           promise and that no good plan should go
developing countries. NGOs campaigned for             unfunded.
Nigeria's debts to be cancelled. The UK
worked hard with Nigeria to find a solution.          On corruption, we have ratified the UN
Nigeria is now developing poverty reduction           Convention Against Corruption which came

into force in December. We are taking                 prices, improved macroeconomic policies,
action to enforce this. We are implementing           and structural reforms..."
the recommendation of the All Party
                                                      We are also investing in Africa's economy.
Parliamentary Group on Africa, to set up a
                                                       At Gleneagles, we pledged to support the
dedicated unit - joining up the Met and City
                                                      AU/NEPAD Investment Climate Facility.
of London Police, with other key agencies
                                                      This was launched in Cape Town a month
and departments - to deal with international
                                                      ago with about $100m of initial capital from
corruption, and ensure that allegations of
                                                      four multinational companies, 3
bribery and money laundering are properly
                                                      governments and two international
                                                      organisations. We also pledged to build an
On peace and security, over 20,000                    international infrastructure consortium to
peacekeeping troops have been trained since           increase investment in the infrastructure
the 2004 G8 pledge to train 75,000 by 2010.           which business in Africa is crying out for.
 We have been training Rwandan troops, in             We launched this in October. In its first
Kenya, who are now protecting refugees in             year, consortium members secured funding
Darfur.                                               for ten regional projects worth $700 million
                                                      and 34 country projects worth US$1.8
Ever since the UK sent a relatively small
                                                      billion. And they have agreed scoping
force to Sierra Leone in 2000, and helped to
                                                      studies that will lead to further rounds of
end the civil war, I have been sure that if
                                                      new infrastructure projects.
Africa had its own ability to respond rapidly
to conflicts as they broke out, then many of          Next steps on Africa
the long, protracted conflicts we have seen
                                                      So, very real progress has been made in the
on the continent could be avoided. The new
                                                      last 12 months, which will make a real
African Union has embraced this doctrine of
                                                      difference to peoples lives. What next?
"non-indifference" and has now established
a Stand By Force to do just this. We will             The Government will shortly be publishing a
help it to achieve full capability by 2010.           new White Paper on Eliminating World
 AU forces have already made a difference             Poverty which will set out what we need to
in Darfur, under the most difficult                   do in the next ten years to ensure that we
circumstances, and have provided a good               deliver on Gleneagles and get Africa back
base for the planned UN mission to build on.          on track to meet the Millennium
 But the difficulty we had in getting the             Development Goals. We can't be complacent
mission underway shows the urgent need for            or underestimate the action required.
such a Stand By Force. The EU has agreed              At the St Petersburg G8 Summit, leaders
€300 million for the Africa Peace Facility            will reaffirm their commitment to the
for 2008-2010 to support these efforts                Gleneagles promises, review progress and
further.                                              focus on further steps we can take,
And finally, there is some good news on               particularly on health and education.
Africa's economy. Last month's IMF World              Let me focus on health and education for a
Economic Outlook showed that Africa's                 moment, therefore. The G8 has promised to
economy is growing faster than the global             help developing countries fund free
average. It said that "growth in excess of 7          healthcare and primary education for all.
percent in Ethiopia, Mozambique, and Sierra            The challenge now is for developing
Leone reflects the continuing positive                countries to draw up ambitious plans for
effects of earlier reforms..." and that "the          health and education and for the G8 to
economic outlook in sub-Saharan Africa                provide the long-term predictable funding
remains positive, with growth of 5.8 percent          required.
projected this year - the highest rate in over
30 years - underpinned by high commodity              To encourage developing countries to do
                                                      this, the UK is taking the lead.

In April, Gordon Brown and Hilary Benn,               But, looking ahead, we can't just focus on
announced that the UK would provide                   health and education. We need to deliver the
£8.5bn over the next ten years to fund long-          comprehensive package agreed at
term education plans.                                 Gleneagles.
In order to deliver on this, I can announce           At Gleneagles, the G8 agreed that the
tonight that DFID's budget for education              existing Africa Partnership Forum should be
will more than double to over £1 billion a            strengthened to monitor implementation.
year by 2010, up from about £450 million               The UK and other donors are funding the
last year.                                            establishment of a Support Unit to help the
                                                      APF carry out its monitoring mandate.
Alongside funding from others, this will
help to give at least 22 developing countries         The Commission for Africa recommended
the predictable funding they need to invest           the establishment of an independent
in ambitious long-term strategies to get all          mechanism to monitor and report on
children into school by 2015.                         progress. In the year since then, it has
                                                      become more necessary not less.
And, as we get closer to getting all children
into primary school, the demand will                  Working with Bob Geldof, who was also on
increase for secondary and higher education.          the Commission for Africa, I have therefore
This is crucial to skill people in developing         decided to convene a Panel of world leaders
countries to work in a growing economy and            from all sectors to ensure that our promises
to be the teachers, doctors and nurses which          to Africa are kept.
are needed to provide health and education
                                                      It will be called the Africa Progress Panel.
for the next generation.
                                                       It will encourage and measure progress,
In our forthcoming White Paper, the                   against the commitments made to and by
Government will set out how we will                   Africa at G8 and UN Summits, notably
increase our support for post-primary                 Gleneagles, towards the achievement of the
education, to underpin economic growth,               Millennium Development goals, and will
good governance and public services.                  maintain the international political profile of
                                                      Africa, achieved in 2005.
We also need to provide developing
countries with long-term, predictable                 Kofi, has agreed to chair it. He has worked
funding for 10 year health plans, to provide          tirelessly for Africa as UN Secretary
free basic health care and universal access to        General for the last 10 years, and before that
AIDS treatment. Save the Children have                within the UN. No-one understands the
estimated that making health care free for all        challenges better.
could save nearly 300,000 kids' lives in
                                                      We will be ready to introduce the whole
Africa every year.
                                                      Panel in the next few weeks but today I can
We will be working with developing                    say as well as Bob and Kofi, President
countries, NGOs and other partners to                 Obasanjo of Nigeria and Peter Eigen, the
produce 10 year health and education plans            founder of Transparency International have
and to secure the funding for them. No good           agreed to be on it. Bill Gates has also kindly
plans should go unfunded. This will require           agreed to help fund it.
a joint effort by all donors, to implement the
                                                      The Panel will produce an annual report that
commitments made at Gleneagles and at the
                                                      will be submitted to the G8, UN and the
UN Millennium Summit.
                                                      African Partnership Forum. I will meet the
At St Petersburg, we will discuss the launch          panel regularly to hear from them.
of a pilot Advance Market Commitment - to
stimulate research and development into
vaccines for killer disease.

Conclusion - we will succeed if we keep                the Royal African Society, and the Hansard
Africa and Climate Change at the top of the            Society and Chancellor of the University of
international agenda                                   Greenwich)
I want to finish by saying that there is a role
for everybody -everybody in this room and
everybody outside this room - in making
sure that the promises made in Gleneagles
are delivered.
We set some ambitious aims at Gleneagles.
We have made good progress. But it will
take hard work for years to come to
eliminate poverty in Africa and tackle
climate change.
But I believe that if we do implement the
ambitious agreements on climate change and
Africa agreed at Gleneagles, and if we do
this with all of the G8 and the EU and
China, India, Brazil, Mexico, and Africa,
and if we do reform the UN and the rest of             It is a very great pleasure to be making the
the international system, and if we work               opening speech at this Conference. Even if
with business and civil society partners, and          the combination of the words
if we mobilise public support, then we can             “Commonwealth” and “Education” on the
hope to achieve the Millennium                         invitation had not already proved magically
Development Goals by 2015 and to start to              persuasive, the forceful charm of your
cut the levels of carbon in the atmosphere to          Deputy Chair, Lalage, would have clinched
the levels necessary to avoid dangerous                my acceptance. I have had the chance to
climate change.                                        read your newsletters and literature and I
                                                       admire the work you do.
It will take hard work by governments and
for this we need your political support. I             I believe the Commonwealth has its best
have already mentioned the importance of               days still ahead of it. This unique
the Make Poverty History campaign and the              fellowship of nations, from North and South,
Live8 concerts last year. We need that sort            East and West, developed and still
of public support year in year out, in every           developing, as the distance from its imperial
country, if we are to end poverty and stop             provenance grows, has become an incredibly
climate change.                                        important network in a world severely short
                                                       of supra-national institutions.
It's a huge challenge. Together, we can
succeed.                                               And one of the most useful functions of such
                                                       a global network is to share good practice
                                                       and promote the best. That is nowhere more
RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS AND                               true than in the sphere of education where
EDUCATION                                              the English language, and the shared
Keynote Speech at the CEC Annual                       elements of our cultural heritage, can be
                                                       such a force for good.
Conference 2006 on The State, Philanthropy
and Profit in Education Today by the Rt Hon            Let me apologise in advance that I shall
Lord Holme of Cheltenham, CBE.                         have to leave very promptly after my speech
(Lord Holme is, among other things, Vice-              since I have another speech to deliver in
chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary                Southampton early this afternoon. I hope,
Group on Corporate Social Responsibility,              however, that we shall have time for a few
Chair of GlobeScan, LEAD International,                questions and answers.

As part of the shift from the rather random           of the shareholders. This is where the new
philanthropic donations which most                    alignment of corporate responsibility comes
companies used to make to good causes,                in. Instead of treating corporate support as
twenty or thirty years ago, to a more                 an extension of philanthropy, the company
systematic corporate evaluation of where              should be asking itself more profound
responsibilities lie, there has been an               questions about the extent, and for that
increasing and understandable emphasis on             matter the limits, of its corporate citizenship.
„education‟. Very few large multinational             As a wealthy and well-organised member of
companies will not have education on their            the community: whether that community be
CSR, sponsorship and donations grid                   local, the area around its plant or operations;
somewhere.                                            national, the foreign countries which act as
                                                      host to multi-nationals; or international, the
Before I speculate why this should be the
                                                      global society in which the company is an
case, let me underline the point I have just
                                                      active participant; what duty does the
made implicitly about the shift from
                                                      company have to its neighbours?
patronage and philanthropy to corporate
responsibility. The image of corporate                It should comply with the law, of course.
leaders, in the tradition of Rockefeller or           But is legality enough? Charles Wilson
Carnegie, handing over large cheques to               famously said in the 1950s: “What is good
good causes, dies hard. Kenneth Lay of                for General Motors is good for America”.
ENRON was rarely out of the papers in                 In contemporary thinking that proposition is
Houston in his guise of a latter-day Santa            turned on its head: “What‟s good for
Claus – even if he turned out in the end to be        America is good for General Motors”. In
more of a Robert Maxwell. The whole                   other words, to put it bluntly, companies
process clearly provides gratification to             benefit from stable, secure, prosperous
those senior executives, already well-                societies around them.
furnished with material wealth, who now
                                                      That is patently true in general but there are
seek the psychic rewards of community
                                                      particular driving forces in play as well.
                                                      Good young people will only join, and stay
In the USA, where the old-fashioned version           with, companies they respect; and to some
of corporate philanthropy still persists most         extent that respect depends upon their sense
strongly, it may be because it forms part of a        of compatibility between their own values
benign tradition which is widespread                  and those of the corporate entity.
throughout society. Just look at the massive          Consumers, too, are more forceful in making
endowments of Harvard, Yale and Stanford              their views known and expressing their
which rest on the personal generosity of              approval, or disapproval, right up to an
alumni – and which, incidentally, put British         outright boycott, in the market-place.
universities to shame by comparison.                  Remember Brent Spar!
But donations from alumni are personal,               The reputation of corporations, and their
subtractions from an individual‟s net worth           brands is an intangible but fundamental part
for the sake of the Metropolitan Opera or the         of their value, or equity. In the modern
Boy Scouts or his old academy. (Warren                world of instant viral communication, these
Buffet/Bill Gates/ TB/HIV AIDS in Africa)             valuable reputations can be compromised
Very different, it might be thought, from the         overnight by the wrong policies, products or
spectacle of a paid – and handsomely paid –           processes with dire consequences for sales
Chief Executive using the funds of his                or the share price. Equally, suppliers and
shareholders to cut a dash.                           customers alike in the supply chains want
                                                      the reassurance that they are dealing with an
Here the proper question, and the one that
                                                      organisation with high and consistent
needs to be asked, is whether support for a
particular institution or programme from the
company itself is in the long-term interests

Then there is the whole world of                      across national boundaries with that
government and regulation. As we have                 precious characteristic “capacity”?
seen in the case of ENRON, which I                    Welcome, Batman!
mentioned earlier, the inevitable response of
                                                      Sometimes, rather confusingly, people can
the legislators, attuned to the public mood,
                                                      hold both views of companies
faced with visible abuse of the norms of
                                                      simultaneously, belabouring them with the
good behaviour, is government regulation in
                                                      right hand, whilst holding out the left for
the shape of more draconian regulation, in
this case Sarbanes Oxley, which may, as an
understandable but excessive over-reaction,           The truth is always complex. Companies
not be good for business.                             can and do contribute to social and
                                                      environmental problems but they are almost
So increasingly businesses are trying to
                                                      always part of the solution. Their attitudes
define a responsible stance towards the
                                                      and policies are therefore crucial, both to
world in which they do business. If they
                                                      minimise adverse impacts and to maximise
want to be hard-nosed and business-like,
                                                      positive contributions. It is in all our
they say this is the cost of securing an
                                                      interests to have corporate activities which
intangible „licence to operate‟ from society
                                                      are responsible rather than exploitative,
and to secure their reputation and that,
                                                      particularly in developing countries where
therefore, it is in the long-term interest of
                                                      needs are so pressing.
the company, and its shareholders.
                                                      This brings me to education.
BUT if they have really been through a step-
change in awareness, they will say their              Even in developed countries such as the UK,
corporate responsibility merely mirrors the           the state of education is of great concern to
responsibility we all have to each other and          industry. The CBI, and other employers‟
the society we share; and that companies are          organisations, have been outspoken in their
as much part of civil society as a club, or a         criticism – Sir Digby Jones just yesterday -
university or an NGO. In Sir Adrian                   not just of unduly high levels of illiteracy
Cadbury‟s words, “companies have to                   and innumeracy among school-leavers in the
envisage the wider consequences of their              UK, but of their lack of cognitive and
decisions and to build that awareness into            communication skills. Similar criticisms are
their decision-making processes”.                     made in the USA, fuelled by the pressures of
                                                      international competition and the knowledge
For me, the key issue is essentially
                                                      that without fully-skilled employees in the
democratic; that those who have power –
                                                      future, the „knowledge‟ and „added-value‟
and many large companies are certainly in
                                                      economies of the developed countries of the
that category – should be accountable for
                                                      North will fail to meet the massive challenge
that power and therefore responsible in its
                                                      of emerging countries such as China, India
                                                      and Brazil.
And here we encounter an interesting
                                                      The Council for Industry and Higher
paradox, which I call the Bogeyman/Batman
                                                      Education in its May 2006 Report
paradox. For some critics, often deep-green
                                                      “International Competitiveness” called for
environmentalists, business, as the organiser
                                                      businesses and UK universities to work
of economic activity, is the source of all the
                                                      together, saying: “For the UK to compete in
problems in a troubled world. Pollution,
                                                      this challenging landscape we have to
child labour, HIV AIDS, abuse of human
                                                      exploit our own competitive
rights – you name it! Business is the
                                                      advantages…UK higher education lies at the
Bogeyman. For others, looking for help
                                                      heart of this advantage”.
with intractable problems, business is less
problem than potential solution. What other           “Education, education, education” was the
activity in a globalised but fragmented world         way Tony Blair famously articulated his
is as well-financed and well-organised

priorities in 1997. The jury is out on how            Johannesburg in 2002 was that the lever for
far his government has delivered.                     attaining the Millennium Development
                                                      Goals was to bring together multi-
If education is at the very top of the agenda
                                                      stakeholder partnerships, from the large and
in the affluent developed world, how much
                                                      global to the small and local – and that the
more is that the case in the still developing
                                                      private sector could be a useful, and
world, which includes many Commonwealth
                                                      sometimes an essential, member of such
countries? Repeated surveys have shown
that, along with inadequate infrastructure
and poor governance, lack of local capacity,          The most obvious way in which companies
that is an adequate cadre of trained and              and the academy work together is in the
educated people, is the chief barrier to              provision of research grants. Every British
foreign direct investment.                            university is on the qui vive for private
                                                      sector funding of chairs, lectureships,
And the need for better educational
                                                      research projects etc. Companies will tend
provision is not simply a matter of FDI and
                                                      to see this more as out-sourcing of their own
progress within the globalised economy; it is
                                                      necessary Research Development than as
also addressed to a whole range of urgent
                                                      part of their CSR budget. It is nonetheless
social problems too, from universal literacy,
                                                      useful, as long as universities do not find
to public health, to women‟s empowerment
                                                      themselves straying too far from their
– and if you want my personal view of the
                                                      authentic research missions.
single most important motor for socio-
economic development anywhere it is to                Conversely, nowadays most American and a
engage fully the energy and imagination of            few British universities find that their high-
that half of the human race which is still too        tech expertise and discoveries, in bio-
often confined and cribbed by the old ways -          science and computing science for instance,
                                                      are taking them across the dividing line into
At every level, from universal primary
                                                      the entrepreneurial exploitation of new ideas
education to a stronger university sector,
                                                      for profit. -
education is the key in the door of
development. I was pleased, and I have to             How can companies be motivated to move
say as Chairman of the Royal Africa Society           their support for educational projects and
not a little relieved, that the Commission for        partnerships on from the relatively
Africa which reported last year and the G8            straightforward purchasing of good quality
Gleneagles Summit which followed,                     research at a reasonable price?
identified the need to revitalise African
                                                      As I have said, particularly in the developing
universities and supported the idea of
                                                      world, this will often be through the medium
networks of excellence between universities
                                                      of a partnership for a specific programme.
in the developed world and those in Africa.
                                                      Commend the Abertay Conversation in 2005
It is good news that DFID is supporting the
                                                      Empowering Africa rôle and potential of
Association of Commonwealth Universities
                                                      higher education in continental renewal –
with a grant to do this.
                                                      and its notion of knowledge as the currency
And this brings me squarely to the subject of         of change. Quality and price of band width.
today‟s Conference. How can we put                    (The Abertay Conversation in 2005
responsible companies together with other             Empowering Africa rôle and potential of
relevant partners to improve the quantum              higher education and continental renewal –
and the quality of the effort behind                  and its notion of knowledge as the currency
education, particularly in those poorer               of change.)
developing countries?
                                                      As someone who has patrolled the No-
The watchword should be „partnership‟.                Man‟s Land between the private sector, the
The main message from the World Summit                academy and the voluntary sector, perhaps I
for Sustainable Development in

    could suggest some do‟s and don‟ts in                         and modus operandi. What you
    approaching companies:                                        see is generally what you get.
    DON‟T       patronise corporate executives.
                They are generally people of
                good intelligence and good
                                                         DO       your homework. Read the
                                                                  web-site. Understand the
    DON‟T       see them as cheque-books on                       corporate policies, not
                legs, good for money, and                         precedents and people.
                nothing else. They have a
                                                         DO       be realistic. Most companies
                larger contribution to make
                                                                  will want evidence and often a
                                                                  test before they make major
    DON‟T       underestimate the merits of a                     commitments.
                business-like approach;
                                                         DO       show them how the partnership
                organising resources to achieve
                                                                  will benefit both them and the
                objectives over time is what
                                                                  larger community.
                they are all about.
                                                         DO       frame a partnership, based on
    DON‟T       assume the top man makes all
                                                                  clear objectives and motives,
                the decisions. Somebody
                                                                  with a time-frame, mutual
                relatively junior may be crucial.
                                                                  responsibilities, reporting-back
    DON‟T       be too suspicious of motives                      and shared transparency.

Commonwealth Education News is produced for the Council for Education in the Commonwealth
by its Programmes, Projects and Communications Committee. This number was edited by Lalage
Bown with assistance from Valerie Povall and Kees Maxey.

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