Two GBC-Education Founding Members Named Commissioners for the Global Commission on Financing Education

Photo by UNHCR / I. Prickett.

More than twenty world leaders, including five former presidents and prime ministers and three Nobel Prize recipients, have been appointed to a new International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity to reverse the lack of financing for education around the world. The Commission includes two GBC-Education founding members, Aliko Dangote, Chairman and CEO of the Dangote Group, and Strive Masiyiwa, Chairman and Founder of Econet Wireless Group.

The Commission will research economic trends associated with increasing access to universal global education. The announcement comes just three days before world leaders will meet at the UN to officially adopt the post-2015 development agenda which includes a sweeping new target of inclusive quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all.

The Commission was announced during the Oslo Summit on Education for Development in early July. Co-convened by the Norwegian Prime Minister alongside President Michelle Bachelet of Chile, President Joko Widodo of Indonesia, President Peter Mutharika of Malawi and the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, the Commission seeks to provide evidence demonstrating that global education could provide economic returns and strengthen other sectors while bolstering wider social outcomes. The UN Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown, will chair the Commission, which will present their findings to the co-conveners and the UN Secretary-General at the September 2016 UN General Assembly.

“Education is key to fighting poverty, and I believe educating girls is the single most powerful investment for development,” said Prime Minister Solberg. “ When you educate a girl, you educate a nation. I am confident that the Commission will play an important role in mobilizing the resources needed to achieve education for development set out for 2030 and beyond.”

This Commission includes the following leaders:

Anant Agarwal, CEO, EdX
José Manuel Barroso, Former President, European Commission
Felipe Calderón, Former President, Mexico
Kristin Clemet, Managing Director, Civita, Former Minister of Education and Research, Former Minister of Labour and Government Administration, Norway
Aliko Dangote, CEO, Dangote Group
Julia Gillard, Chair, Global Partnership for Education and Former Prime Minister, Australia
Baela Raza Jamil, Adviser/Trustee Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA)
Lee Ju-ho, Former Korean Minister of Education
Jim Kim, President, World Bank Group
Anthony Lake, Executive Director, UNICEF
Jack Ma, Founder and Executive Chairman, Alibaba Group
Graça Machel, Founder, Graça Machel Trust
Strive Masiyiwa, CEO, Econet Wireless
Teopista Birungi Mayanja, Founder, Uganda National Teachers Union
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Former Minister of Finance, Nigeria
Kailash Satyarthi, Founder, Bachpan Bachao Andolan
Amartya Sen, Professor, Harvard University
Theo Sowa, CEO, African Women’s Development Fund
Yuriko Koike, Member of the House of Representatives, Former Minister of Defense, Japan
Lawrence Summers, President Emeritus, Harvard University; 71st Secretary of the Treasury for President Clinton and Director of the National Economic Council for President Obama
Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Former Prime Minister, Denmark

Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, Minister of International Cooperation and Development for the United Arab Emirates will join the inaugural meeting of the Commission. Jeffrey Sachs, United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advisor, will join the third meeting of the Commission. Malala Yousafzai will join the Commission’s youth panel.

The Commission will meet on September 29 during the United Nations General Assembly to start building the economic case to inspire and persuade world leaders to action. In September 2016, the Commission will report to the Co-conveners and the Secretary-General of United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, who has agreed to receive the report and act on its recommendations.