Education in Africa: A Pillar of Growth

Graduation day at Strathmore University, Nairobi, Kenya
Graduation day at Strathmore University, Nairobi, Kenya

Last weekend I saw a great documentary: “Journey to school.” I strongly recommend it. It’s about four real stories of kids that undergo tremendous difficulties and dangers on a daily basis to go to school. One of the stories is that of Jackson, 11 and his younger sister. Everyday, they walk for 2 hours back and forth, and cover 15 km. of the Kenyan savanna. They have to watch over elephants that may appear on their way. The other stories are as amazing as this one – or even more! The reality is that any country willing to grow and prosper needs to support educational efforts.

Education is one of the engines and pillars of any country. It’s included in the Declaration of Human Rights. At the very least, primary education should be freely available to everyone. This doesn’t mean than the State should have total control of educational offers. Rather, the State should establish the mechanisms so that everybody – not just rich families – can chose the type of education they want for their children.

Euromonitor reports that 77 % of global growth in consumer expenditure on education in 2015 is generated in 1150 cities. That’s quite concentrated. No wonder Jackson and other kids have to undertake risky journeys to go to school!

African cities (in regions other than Northern Africa) contributing to that growth include:

Africa education and growth

Of notice: Kisumu and Emalahleni are not capital cities. Kenya is undergoing a “devolution” process. This means that power and budgets are being decentralized, and returned to the counties. I don’t mean to imply a causal relationship necessarily but there seems to be some correlation here. Also, Kenya includes education and training as part of the social pillar of its Vision 2030 strategic program. The program aims at creating “a globally competitive and prosperous nation with a high quality of life by 2030.” Indeed, a high-level education is necessary to achieve this goal.

Anyone familiar with South Africa willing to comment?

Related posts:

7 thoughts on “Education in Africa: A Pillar of Growth

  1. Good article.
    Yes, education is an engine of growth for Africa and any country. As Nelson Mandela said “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
    Thank you for pointing out the “Journey to school” documentary. It looks like a great documentary, and worth watching.
    My wonderful thoughts in your article. Thank you.

    1. Thank you, Khaled. The documentary is great. The stories are from kids in Morocco, Argentina, India, and Kenya. Definitely worth watching!

  2. very nice article, I really like reading about education, because it’s very useful for me to add my insight, to me that education is very important in life to get to a better life and be able to build our country further. Thank you for sharing,,,,,

  3. I am going to show the documentary to my kids (for them to learn) That’s going to be Africa’s contribution to my kids education today!

Comments are closed.