GENERAL EDUCATION & HIGHER EDUCATION
Today education in Sub-Saharan Africa is for the most part moving sideways, as there has yet to be the level of investment in African school systems necessary to develop across the continent-globally competitive primary, secondary and tertiary education institutions. The UNESCO Institute for Statistics estimated that in 2018, on average, only 61% of adults in Sub-Saharan Africa could read and write with understanding, which is one of the lowest adult literacy rates in the world. The absolute number of adult illiterates continues to rise because of high population growth, from 133 million in 1990 to around 144 million today. More than 60% are women. Adult literacy rates range from 19% in Mali to 90% in Seychelles. Fourteen of the 22 countries in the world with literacy rates below 60% are in Sub-Saharan Africa.
According to a recent World Economic Forum ranking of Secondary Education systems in Africa, Seychelles, Tunisia, and Mauritius rank among the top educational systems on the continent. These rankings are based on skills development and the quality of instruction.
With respect to highest ranking tertiary institutions in Africa, Egypt and South Africa are the two-best represented countries. Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa all have universities in the top 500 of the global ranking.
From 1998-2001 the aggregate percentage spend of African nations on public expenditure on education was only 5,2%.
Fourteen of the 22 countries in the world with literacy rates below 60% are in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Teacher shortage: the region needs to recruit an average of 6% more teachers each year.
According to the Washington DC based Basic Education Coalition, more than 46 million children in Africa are not in school and this figure represents more than 40% of the world’s out of school children.
Universal free education to all primary students is being adopted by several nations and efforts to close the gender gap in education are yielding increasing success.