girl school africa Anthony Asael/Art in All of Us/Getty Images

A Bright Future for Africa’s Girls

Education plays a central role in determining girls’ and women’s capacity to claim economic, social, and political rights and status in society. That is why it is so important that countries like Zambia are placing the education and empowerment of girls and women at the top of their political agendas.

LUSAKA – Education gives young people the tools they need – from cognitive and social skills to self-confidence – to succeed throughout their lives. For many African countries, including my home country of Zambia, burgeoning youth populations make delivering high-quality education to all particularly urgent. But success will be possible only with a sharp focus on girls and women.

Education plays a central role in determining girls’ and women’s capacity to claim economic, social, and political rights and status in society. That is why it is so important that countries place the education and empowerment of girls and women at the top of their political agendas.

For Zambia, that decision is already paying off. Women now occupy powerful positions previously dominated by men, including Chief Justice, Head of the Drug Enforcement Commission, President of the Constitutional Court, Vice President, and Finance Minister. Zambian President Edgar Lungu is experiencing his own “Blair’s babes” moment (British Prime Minister Tony Blair was once photographed surrounded by 96 of the 101 female Labour MPs elected to the House of Commons in 1997) without the patronizing slogan.

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