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Africa’s school progress

Higher investment in human developmentin Africa is paying off. One reflection of thisis the share of both girls and boys completing their secondary education,which has increased between 2005 and 2014.

Take East Africa, which comprises among others Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda. Here, the share of young people graduating from secondary school increased by 24 percentage points for boys and 27 percentage points for girls, almost closing the gender gap. The highest increase in the case of boys was in Central Africa, including countries such as Cameroon, Congo and Gabon, where the share of those graduating rose by 28 percentage points. But there are lagging regions: the lowest increase was in West Africa–Burkina Faso, Ghana and Nigeria, for instance–where both the shares of girls and boys graduating rose by only around 10 percentage points.

Sub-Saharan Africa’s share of total expenditure spent on education is only surpassed by that of East Asian countries such as Japan and South Korea, and Latin America and the Caribbean. To build on this progress, policy measures are needed to reduce adolescent pregnancy and increase the participation of girls and women in both secondary school education and in the workplace.

AfDB/OECD/UNDP (2017), African Economic Outlook 2017: Entrepreneurship andIndustrialisation, OECD Publishing, Paris. http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/aeo-2017-en