From an adult education perspective, the East Africa/Horn of Africa region is characterised by two categories of countries, namely countries with well-established adult education systems and countries marked by conflict and civil war over long periods of time and with high levels of illiteracy and poverty. Recent exploration of the status of adult education in various countries in the region has indicated that well-established countries have put adult education policies, guidelines and structures in place, yet few reach the target number of adults as per their planned objectives, and poverty levels remain high. Most countries prefer an integrated approach that combines adult literacy with livelihood initiatives and non-formal skill training options and are eager for new approaches that can deliver results. Countries marked by years of war and conflict require massive efforts at grassroots level alongside interventions at policy level.
In 2002, the DVV International country office in Ethiopia was promoted to the regional office East Africa/Horn of Africa and a regional programme was started in 2005. The East Africa/Horn of Africa region is comprised of two country offices, one in Ethiopia and one in Uganda.
Over the years, the Regional Office also engaged other countries such as Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Djibouti and South Sudan in various regional initiatives such as conferences, exchange visits, seminars and training workshops. Experts from Uganda and Ethiopia support each other with situation analysis and baseline studies, training and conducting evaluations.