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Monday, 24 April, 2000, 01:17 GMT 02:17 UK
World education forum looks at literacy

The United Nations conference on education, the World Education Forum, is getting under way in the Senegalese capital, Dakar.

Rich and poor nations from across the world will be asked during the five-day forum to pledge themselves to the goal of universal primary education by the year 2015.

The UN agency, Unicef - which organised the forum - says an estimated one billion adults around the world are illiterate.

The forum is also expected to examine links between education and AIDS, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, where nearly twenty-three million people or seventy per cent of the world total are thought to carry the HIV virus.

In Zambia more teachers died of AIDS last year than graduated from teacher-training college. The coference will be attended by the UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan.

Mr Annan, who's on an African tour, will focus on education for girls.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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