Investing in quality education to tackle child labor

The Jacobs Foundation, the UBS Optimus Foundation and other philanthropic partners have pledged CHF 30M to support the Ivorian government’s strategic objective to fight child labor and to provide children in Côte d’Ivoire with a good start in life and quality education. 

Côte d’Ivoire leads the world in the export of cocoa beans for the production of chocolate, and its smallholder cocoa farmers account for almost 40% of global cocoa production. In rural areas, nearly 30% of primary school-aged children are out of school, and this figure rises to 50% for children of lower secondary school age. Only one in two children who finishes primary school is proficient in literacy skills, and almost 75% lack proficiency in numeracy skills. Without access to quality education, children are at higher risk of child labor. 

A comprehensive, systemic approach is required to address this situation sustainably. We believe that quality education is part of the solution. The Jacobs Foundation, the UBS Optimus Foundation and other philanthropic partners have pledged an initial investment of CHF 30M with the objective of raising CHF 150M for quality education in Côte d’Ivoire. The seed funding aims to catalyze a multi-stakeholder partnership for systemic change. This can only be achieved jointly with the government, the cocoa and chocolate industry and development organizations.  

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