L’impératif de l’éducation en Afrique

DUBAI – Le Secrétaire général des Nations Unies Ban Ki-moon a déjà déclaré que l’éducation constituait le principal investissement qu’un pays puisse faire pour établir une société prospère, saine et équitable. Ce conseil vaut particulièrement pour l’Afrique, là où des investissements massifs en éducation ont permis, ces dernières années, d’obtenir des gains importants sur le plan de l’alphabétisation, de l’assiduité scolaire et du recrutement universitaire. Mais le continent africain a encore beaucoup de chemin à faire.

Selon l’Unicef, l’Afrique sous-saharienne, abrite plus de la moitié des 58 millions d’enfants dans le monde qui ne fréquentent pas une école, particulièrement les filles et les jeunes femmes. Plus d’un homme africain sur cinq âgé de 15 à 24 ans est chômeur et uniquement un tiers des Africains a terminé l’école primaire, et, malgré certains progrès, le taux de fréquentation universitaire demeure faibles.

Le fait qu’un si grand nombre d’indicateurs sociaux stagnent ou régressent est particulièrement décevant, malgré le fait que ce soit en Afrique où l’on retrouve bon nombre des économies aux plus hauts taux de croissance du monde. Selon une étude récente des Nations Unies, le nombre d’Africains vivant en conditions d’extrême pauvreté a augmenté de 40 %, à 414 millions, de 1990 à 2010. Les quatre cinquièmes de la mortalité infantile des enfants de moins de cinq ans proviennent d’Afrique.

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