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Open Access Publications from the University of California

James S. Coleman Memorial Lecture Series

Since its establishment in 1959, UCLA's James S. Coleman African Studies Center (ASC) has been dedicated to teaching, research, and public understanding related to Africa. ASC is recognized as one of the preeminent institutions of its kind worldwide and has held major funding from the U.S. Department of Education since 1959. ASC is currently the only Title VI National Resource Center west of the Mississippi. Its educational mission is especially vital in this age when the world's peoples are coming closer and closer together while at the same time they are at risk of growing further and further apart.

ASC's online publications are devoted to addressing the challenges of preparing the next generation of global citizens. Well-informed global citizens need to learn about and come to appreciate the non-Western world and be exposed to academic content that deals with non-Western societies. UCLA provides an ideal resource to further this agenda. ASC is known for interdisciplinary innovation and assists students interested in Africa in understanding the vital connections among social welfare and the arts; environmental studies and international politics; African religions (Islam, Christianity, and traditional faiths) and urban development.

Cover page of Accelerating the Education of Girls and Women in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Development Imperative

Accelerating the Education of Girls and Women in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Development Imperative


Compelling evidence is available today to link education with numerous benefits, which combine to contribute to the popular view that education is the foundation of development. This is like stating the obvious but just as a reminder: The World Conference on Education for All, held in 1990 in Jomtien, Thailand, underlined the role of education for ensuring a safer, healthier, more environmentally sound world. The conference also identified education as a crucial contributor to social, economic and cultural progress, tolerance, and capacity for cooperation, among other benefits. This paper discusses challenges facing education in Sub-Saharan Africa, and in particular the need to accelerate the education of girls and women as a prerequisite for Africa’s development.