Urbanization and Education in East Africa

Why has Africa not developed as fast as East Asian countries, as should have been the case? Paul Collier has asked this question in several ways (see e.g. Collier, 2006). The evidence points to the fact that although Africa is endowed naturally and has the potential to experience rapid development, among the many factors, including mal-governance, educational expansion has lagged behind (Green et al., 1997). Even after the declaration of education access as one of the MDGs and the earlier crystallization of the targets through the EFA frameworks, average participation in SSA is still below the world trend 1999-2009 (UNESCO-UIS, 2011). Still, within the East African region education has been at the forefront of development vision in all the countries with Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania having declared and implemented universal education policies enjoined with their development visions. Burundi and Rwanda have followed suit albeit with emphasis on science and technology, particularly in Rwanda. Even before independence, the value of education to human well-being in the region was long recognized (Sheffield, 1973). […]

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