The Gender at the Center Initiative Members Gathered in Dakar to Co-Create the Project’s Next Phase

In brief

Rounding out Phase 1 by the end of the year, the Gender at the Center Initiative (GCI) Alliance members met in Dakar for their annual board meeting on March 28-30, 2023. Composed of civil society organizations, national education leaders, and international organizations— the GCI Alliance’s annual board meeting presented a unique opportunity for the Initiative to celebrate real-life impact over the past year and collectively imagine its future.


In strengthening the implementation of the Gender at the Center Initiative (GCI), UNGEI and IIEP-UNESCO hosted the 4th GCI Alliance Board Meeting from March 28-30, 2023 in Dakar, Senegal.

The objectives of the March 2023 GCI Alliance meeting were three-fold. The meeting served to host conversations around achievements and impact over the last year, and deliberate on actionable plans for successfully closing out Phase 1 in 2023. Participants also discussed the results of the GCI mid-term review and strategized on the development of Phase 2. As a whole, participants shared experiences and innovative approaches to promoting gender equality in education within GCI and beyond. The meeting was an opportunity for gender champions from across the African continent to strengthen ties and intensify collaboration.

Participants at the meeting represented all members of the GCI Alliance, including the two coordinating institutions (UNGEI and IIEP-UNESCO), ministries of education from the 8 GCI countries, civil society organizations that were members of the CSO Consortium, donors, and technical partners. That year, participants had much to celebrate, including a clear political commitment through the Freetown Manifesto; over 500 members of ministries of education trained; and 7000 community members committed to gender equality in education through GCI activities. The GCI Alliance built on these achievements, as well as the lessons learned, to jointly develop directions for the second phase of the Initiative.

GCI Board 2022

The GCI Alliance, whose secretariat is provided by UNGEI and IIEP-UNESCO, is composed of four constituent groups:

  • Representatives of the ministries of education or GCI focal points from Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria and Sierra Leone
  • Civil society organizations (FAWE, ANCEFA, Plan International) 
  • Donors (Germany, France, Italy, United Kingdom, European Union)
  • Technical partners (GPE, UNESCO, UNICEF and AU/CIEFFA)
Gender at the Center Initiative Board 2023 - Adama Momoh, Sierra Leone Ministry of Education

There was mentoring for us as young people: we had the chance to exchange with very experienced people in the field of education, in the field of the protection of women's rights, especially girls in general, and in the right to education

Woppa Diallo
Lawyer, Senegal, Executive Director of the Association for Keeping Girls in School AMFE
Gender at the Center Initiative Board 2023 - Jennifer Hofmann, AFD

On the occasion of its board of directors, the GCI initiative brought together Zeinixx, graffiti artist, and Samira Fall, slammer, two Senegalese artists committed to women's rights.



Samira Fall

Gender at the Center Initiative Board 2023 - Samira Fall, Slammer