Amos Mwangi CEO of Ed Partners Africa
Quality education acts as a cornerstone, influencing the trajectories of individuals and societies alike. This holds particularly true for Africa, where the power of education is not merely academic but serves as a critical instrument for spurring social and economic growth. It is the foundation for a skilled labour force, which is necessary to meet the demands of a rapidly evolving global market. As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, the demand for a globally competitive workforce is on the rise.
In the past few years, Africa has made some progress in giving more children the chance to attend school. Throughout the 2010s, the annual decrease in non-school attendance was marginal, at only 0.3%. However, challenges persist in ensuring equitable and quality education for all. According to UNESCO, over 98 million children in sub-Saharan Africa are currently out of school, with girls facing disproportionate barriers to education. This glaring disparity impedes human capital development and perpetuates cycles of poverty and inequality.
To address these challenges, African countries need to prioritise investment in education infrastructure, including schools, classrooms, and teaching resources. Additionally, efforts should be made to enhance the training and capacity-building of teachers, as they are the key drivers of educational quality. Africa can nurture a skilled workforce capable of meeting global talent demands by providing adequate support and professional development opportunities for educators.
Furthermore, aligning education curricula with the needs of the global talent market is essential. As technology continues to reshape industries and job requirements, African education systems must adapt to equip students with the relevant skills for the future. This includes fostering digital literacy, critical thinking, problem-solving, and entrepreneurship. By embracing innovative teaching methods and incorporating practical, hands-on experiences, African students can develop the skills necessary to compete globally.
Africa possesses a vast pool of untapped talent and potential. However, the lack of opportunities and limited access to quality education hinder realising this potential. To overcome these barriers, there is a need for increased collaboration between African nations and international organisations, governments, and private sector entities. Partnerships facilitate knowledge transfer, resource sharing, and expertise exchange, ultimately strengthening education systems in Africa and enhancing its integration into the global talent landscape.
Various initiatives have emerged to increase access to quality education. Ed Partners Africa, a nonbanking financial institution, plays a crucial role in addressing barriers in Africa’s underfunded education sector. These efforts aim to improve outcomes for millions of children in low-income communities and contribute to meeting global talent requirements. One of our fundamental approaches is providing access to formal and specialised credit for affordable private schools in East Africa. This enables the establishment of a solid foundation in primary and secondary education, equipping students with the skills needed for the future workforce. Since its establishment in 2018, Ed Partners Africa has made a significant impact, benefiting 110,000 underserved children and 360 schools.
Education in Africa plays a crucial role in driving social and economic progress. The global demand for talent necessitates a focused effort to bridge the education gap and unlock the continent’s potential. To achieve this, it is essential to invest in education infrastructure, align curricula with global demands, create funding opportunities, and promote strategic partnerships. One such example is Ed Partners’ collaboration with Liquid Intelligent Technologies, a pan-African technology group with the continent’s largest independently owned network present in more than 20 countries. This partnership aims to drive digital learning and school digitisation in Kenya and across Africa by connecting Liquid Intelligent Technologies’ customer base to Ed Partners products, thereby enhancing access to education.
Only through a collaborative and comprehensive approach, can we ensure that education in Africa becomes a catalyst for sustainable development and an engine for global talent.