Although the literacy and education scenario in Africa has always been a matter of grave concern, recent studies and reports have shed new light on the situation, calling it a wake-up call for the continent.
According a United Nations report published recently, in the two decades from 1990 to 2010, the number of people living in absolute poverty in Africa rose 40% to 414 million. This, despite the fact that some of the fastest-growing economies in the world are from the African continent.
There have been a number of social and economic factors that have either stalled or hampered education in the region. UNICEF reports that there are over 29 million children in Sub-Saharan Africa who do not or cannot go to school, most of whom are girls. The rate of higher education is abysmal and only one third of the total number of children have finished primary school. As a result, over one in five Africans between the age of 15 and 24 are unemployed.
However, a ray of hope comes in the form of two recent studies commissioned by Standard Chartered Bank. Economic analysts predict that Africa will record to the fastest growth in the wealthy individual population in the next few decades. The studies show that the affluent section of the African society believes that education is the need of the hour and have rated it on the top of their priority list. This means that there will be increased investments in the sector, with more wealthy individuals and groups contributing to the present condition of education. This could be in terms of capital, scholarships, infrastructure and more.