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Open Access Publications from the University of California

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.

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