Senegal educational successes detailed by senior Senegalese statesman
H.E. Paul Badji took great pride in detailing the education successes of Senegal to H.E. Irving Levance of the Intergovernmental Organization EDU.
Mr. Badji is a diplomat and statesman of many years experience. He joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in July 1977 and his first assignment was Deputy Head of the Department of International Conferences, rising to take charge of United Nations and International Conferences matters from 1979 to 1985.
As a career diplomat, Mr. Badji has represented his country at some 20 regular sessions of the United Nations General Assembly, at the Organization of African Unity (OAU, now the African Union), at the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and at numerous international summits, conferences and meetings. During the 62nd session of the UN General Assembly, Mr. Badji served as Chairperson of the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) and he has served as the Permanent Representative of Senegal to the United Nations.
Mr. Badji has been Senegal’s Ambassador to Germany and Austria, as well as Permanent Representative to the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, and the United Nations Office at Vienna. From 1991 to 2001, he was ambassador and diplomatic adviser to the Prime Minister.
He is the holder of a master’s degree in law (1975) and an advanced diploma in international law (1977) from the University of Dakar, Mr. Badji also has a diploma from the Ecole Nationale d’Administration et de Magistrateure (ENAM) (1977) and was an auditor at The Hague Academy of International Law in 1987.
He is fluent in French, English, Spanish, Portuguese Creole, Jola, Socé and Wolof.
In his current position as Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium he is assisted by Stephan Sylvain Sambou and an efficient staff, products of the excellent education opportunities available in Senegal.
Since independence in 1960, the first president Leopold Senghor was himself well read, a poet, a university professor a cultural theorist and the first African elected to the French Academy, established education as a priority.
The Senegalese education system is based on its French equivalent. Education is compulsory and free up to the age of 16. Combating gender inequality in education caused by cultural attitudes is a problem which is being addressed.
Its two main universities Cheikh Anta Diop University (formerly Dakar University) in the capital of Dakar and Gaston Berger University in Saint-Louis, are well regarded in Sub-Saharan Africa, attracting a diverse student body drawn from many countries including Senegal, Burkina-Faso, Ivory Coast, France, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, the United States, Mauritania, Mali, Rwanda, Cameroon, Belgium, and the United Kingdom.
PARTICIPATION WITH EDU
Ambassador Badji confirms that, although major successes have been achieved in the area of education, problems do still exist. Maintaining programme quality is a high priority with parents, teachers unions and the government working together for that purpose. He believes that participation in EDU and other intergovernmental organizations would be to the benefit of Senegal and undertook to report back to Dakar his finding along with promising assistance in the recruitment of Assessment Committee members from amongst Senegalese society.
EDU Secretary-General H.E. Irving Levance admiring Traditional Senegalese Artwork