Unlike other areas of the world, Africa’s economy is experiencing a continued trend of growth. In 2019, its GDP growth was 3.4%, rising to 3.9% in 2020, and is projected to reach 4.1% in 2021. The good news is that a lot of this growth was a result of the investment. The bad news is that said growth is not inclusive. Only 1/3 of the African countries showed signs of inclusive growth and managed to reduce the rate of poverty and inequality.
In order to reach higher levels of inclusive growth, African countries need to invest in human capital and create jobs in highly productive sectors. Human capital empowerment cannot be achieved without boosting education and setting skill-development strategies. These goals must be included in economic development plans, which treat public expenditure in education with the same urgency as expenditure in infrastructure. One of the elements contributing to the improvement of education is the development of more schools, especially in rural and remote areas, as well as providing higher-quality teaching.
So why is education so important in addressing poverty and inequality?
High-income inequality is largely connected to high education inequality. Education aids people in being aware of their potential, being aware of what they are able to do for themselves and their communities, and also allows them to acquire the tools they need to reach social improvement. African countries with a significant share of the population reaching secondary or higher education levels have a much lower rate of wealth inequality. However, dropout rates remain very high in Africa as a whole and if this stays as it is at present, Africa will be failing in the ability to provide an education to all children by 2030. Improving education also means increasing social mobility, which gives people the chance to change their social status compared to the generation that preceded them and provides them the opportunity to earn more.
Some of the additional fundamental needs in Africa are tenure reforms and participatory land-use planning policies. In order to achieve this, policymakers must start from the fundamental needs of rural communities and shape their policies around those needs. Vast portions of land should return to being under local control and rural populations should be empowered to enhance the productivity of their land. This can be achieved by receiving both the means and the knowledge needed to do so.
SOARising’s focus is to help shape a better future for Afrika. There are many bright African young entrepreneurs who are already working hard to improve community access to education and technology. They are creating sustainable ways to improve housing, infrastructure, education, and the use of resources. If you would like to discover more about the projects we are fundraising for, you can visit the project section on our website.