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Low levels of investment in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education have the potential to gravely affect Africa’s growth, impeding the competitiveness of many of its nations on a global scale. It is time for a wake-up call.

There are signs the continent is thriving economically. But is it sustainable without a workforce that will build the foundation for long-term growth? It has been argued that the most important determinant of economic growth is the “knowledge capital” of nations, which is defined as the aggregate skills of the country’s population and which is measured by achievement scores on international mathematics and science examinations. Achieving the goals for education will provide the resources to reduce poverty, to improve health, and to reach inclusive growth that lessens inequality within and between countries, writes NEF Chair Thierry Zomahoun. Read more