WINDHOEK, Strengthening the bridge between tertiary education and enterprise will form part of the agenda of the Council for Education in the Commonwealth (CEC) conference which is being held in Namibia this week.

The three-day CEC is hosted by the University of Namibia (UNAM) and National Council for Higher Education (NCHE), under the theme "Leading the Elephant out of the Bush: Education and Business Together Bridging the Gap".

Speaking during the opening of the conference here Monday, Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said the theme highlighted the dynamic relationship between education, employment and economic development on which the future depends.

She added that it was essential to invest in the education of young people, and to work with them on pathways towards employment. "This means empowering young people and providing them with opportunities to reach their full potential," added Scotland.

She said in order to achieve this target, stakeholders would need to strengthen partnerships and co-operation, in line with Goal 17 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations, among universities, vocational institutions, business and industries, she said.

Namibia's Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Training and Innovation, Becky Ndjoze-Ojo, said the conference offered a unique opportunity to Africa and Namibia in particular to explore possibilities of creating a forum which would ensure that the Commonwealth family moved forward and secured a sustainable future investing in the youth.

The conference will also deliberate on building capacity through tertiary education; connectivity; digital learning; public and access to information and education's impact on the knowledge economy. This year's CEC conference marks the first time it is being held outside of London, since its inception in 1959.