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PRE-PUBLICATION RELEASE: Mapping report Towards the African Continental Qualifications Framework

The ACQF aims to be inclusive and comprehensive, open to innovation and new technologies, and based on learnings from similar processes in Africa and globally.


The African Continental Qualifications Framework (ACQF) is a policy initiative of the African Union (AU) and its development process started in 2019, building on a wide range of ongoing continental processes, specifically Agenda 2063, the Continental education strategy for Africa (CESA), and more recently also the ‘Agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area’ (Afcfta). The current vision for the ACQF is to enhance comparability, quality and transparency of qualifications from all sub-sectors and levels of education and training; to facilitate recognition of diplomas and certificates, and mobility of learners and workers; to work in complementarity with national and regional qualifications frameworks, to support developments at national and regional levels; and to promote cooperation and alignment between qualifications frameworks (national and regional) in Africa and worldwide.

The mapping study was commissioned by the AU-EU Skills for Youth Employability Programme/Skills Initiative for African (SIFA), Technical Cooperation – Developing the African Continental Qualifications Framework, a partnership of the African Union Commission (AUC) with the European Union (EU), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the European Training Foundation (ETF). The programme was launched in June 2019, and the inaugural workshop of the ACQF development component took place on 2–4 September 2019 at the headquarters of the AU in Addis Ababa.

Key Findings

This ACQF mapping report presents the key findings of the mapping study of qualifications framework development in African countries, conducted from September 2019 to September 2020, covering qualifications frameworks/systems at different stages of development, consolidation, and implementation.


The primary audiences for this report are policymakers, practitioners, and researchers working on qualifications frameworks and systems on African, regional and country levels. This mapping report is the first of a three-part process and will be followed by the analysis of options and scenarios for the ACQF, and development of the ACQF policy and technical document and action plan, accompanied by an action plan and technical guidelines.

Download the Pre-Publication 


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