Reviewing the Region’s Progress in Reaching the Goals of the Second Decade of Education for Africa: East African Community (EAC)

Africa continues to make significant gains in its economic transformation, with an estimated 5.2 per cent rise in growth expected in 2014 for the Sub-Saharan region. Foreign investments account for a big chunk for this, especially in the extractive and tourism sectors.

Focussing on the East African Community, Burundi’s real GDP growth rose by 1.4 percentage points in 2010 to 5.3% in 2013.Kenya’s recent commercial oil discovery is estimated to generate about $10 billion over a 30-year period, thereby growing the country’s economy at an average yearly rate of 0.83 per cent. With significant gas production poised to commence after 2022 in Tanzania, the government aims to rake in $2.5 billion per year. Uganda may realize over $2 billion a year in oil revenues once production starts, translated from 2.5 billion barrels, an amount beyond its donor aid. Rwanda ranks 32 out of 189 economies in 2013 in the World Bank’s ease of doing business index and her real GDP growth is projected to 7.4% in 2014. And despite challenges of tax evasion, capital flight and taxation competencies, such growth particularly presents enormous potential for the continent’s youthful population.

An appropriately skilled workforce coupled with reasonable earning levels can significantly stabilise a society and mitigate the effects of corruption, illiteracy, poverty and disease. This is why, for example, “strategic reforms are needed to expand young people’s access to science-based education at both the country and the regional level, and to ensure that they graduate with cutting-edge knowledge that is relevant and meets the needs of private sector employers.” In resonance, African Heads of State have made education and training a priority of the African Union’s Plan of Action for Education in the Second Decade.

This brief explores the EAC partner states’ progress in achieving the goals set by the continental strategy, which stretches from 2006 to 2015, in order to help answer the “what next” question in the post-2015 agenda.