Empowering African girls and women for life

How can we ensure that education programmes equip young Africans with the ideal combination of knowledge and practical skills for the transition to productive adult life ? With gross enrolment in tertiary education at just six percent in sub-Saharan Africa1, it is clear that the majority of young people joining the labour force do so immediately after secondary education. Many will not have acquired the skills and qualifications to enable them to join the formal sector. Many, too, will not have developed the basis for a successful transition to adulthood.

In order for young Africans to successfully step into adult roles such as work, family life and participation in their societies, education must equip them with knowledge, skills and characteristics over and above pure classroom learning. The empowerment and skills development approaches discussed in this issue of Equal Education are crucial in order for education to fulfil its promise.