africa children in classroom In Pictures Ltd./Corbis via Getty Images

Funding Africa’s Education Revolution

If Africa’s children are educated and equipped with the skills to succeed in the twenty-first-century economy, the entire continent will prosper. But if they are denied a quality education, Africa’s economic progress will be slowed, stunted, or even thrown into reverse.

LONDON – In mid-July, former US President Barack Obama used a speech in South Africa to implore the world to invest more in the education of Africa’s youth. A month later, UK Prime Minister Theresa May made a similar plea, predicting that “Africa’s young people could enrich not only this continent but the world economy and society at large.”

Statements like these underscore something Africans have known for a long time: the continent’s future will be determined by the fate of its young people. The question now is whether these statements will help spur the educational revolution that Africa so desperately needs.

Simply put, if Africa’s children are educated, prepared for the modern workforce, and equipped with the skills to be successful entrepreneurs, they will flourish and Africa will prosper. But if our children fall any further behind their peers in developing countries, economic progress will be slowed, stunted, or even thrown into reverse. To ensure the former and prevent the latter, Africa must invest more in education.

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