Education is the cornerstone of development, unlocking doors to a brighter future. Education plays an essential role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The persistent challenge of education in African countries, particularly for adolescents, has always been an obstacle, contributing to the developmental lag experienced of these nations.
Adolescents out of school in 2012:
In 2012, a large percentage of adolescents were out of schools. Reasons vary but they can be summarized in
Inadequate educational infrastructure
Social disparities especially marriage
Barriers to access in rural areas
Shortage of qualified teachers
Limited access to modern teaching materials
Adolescents-out-of-school rate in African Countries:
The map assures visually and represents educational challenge with larger red circles denote higher percentages where the adolescents-out-of-school rate is really high in comparison to other countries.
The high marriage rates in often limit access to formal learning opportunities. The social expectations surrounding marriage can act as a barrier, particularly for young girls, impeding their ability to complete their education. However, fast forward to 2022, a shift in the educational landscape had occurred. In 2016, marriage rates for girls under 15 stood at a shocking 93%. However, a line chart traced a journey of change from 2016 to 2017, witnessing a substantial drop to 62%. The trend continued into the years 2020 and 2021, where the marriage rate further decreased to a promising 29%.
Now, this shows the rate of out-of-school adolescents that had fallen. Hope began to blossom becoming an inspiration of progress in the (SDGs).
Correlation between Marriage and School enrollment:
The story unfolded with a realization – the decline in early marriages played a key role in fostering educational empowerment with a correlation between decrease in marriage rates and increase in school enrollment. Yet, a small number is still beyond the ideas of education.
Urgent Call for action:
Community Engagement and Awareness
Investment in Infrastructure
Government Policy Reforms
Teacher Training and Support
Partnerships with NGOs and Corporations
Monitoring and Evaluation
The tale of progress in African education reminds the world that transformation is possible when communities unite, prioritize education, and nurture the dreams of their youth…
African countries face a critical water situation, with millions lacking access to clean and safe water sources
According to the United Nations, about 40% of the world’s population lack access to the least basic water needs and with the global temperatures on the rise this number is expected to further increase. In line with its vision for the year 2030, the United Nations is developing a series of targets such as eliminating water sources pollution and increasing international cooperation, however until today not much has done to ensure that this goal will be met by year 2030.
African countries have the highest mortality rates related to unsafe water sanitation
As shown in the above heatmap, the highest mortality rates related to unsafe water in year 2019 belonged to countries from the African continent solely with Lesotho and Chad leading the way with 108.1 and 99.2 deaths coming from unsafe water sources respectively. In addition, as displayed in the above map, the African continent is clearly in a critical situation with less than half of the population receiving access to basic water services in most of its countries.
Increasing international cooperation can improve the African water situation
To address the critical water situation, a multifaceted solution involves improving water infrastructure, implementing sustainable water management practices, raise awareness and avoid water pollution. However, as known for its weak economic situation, most of the African countries are not currently capable to develop such infrastructural expansions, highlighting the need of an international cooperation to solve the critical water situation in Africa.
Integrated programs can scale and validate the proposed solutions to solve the current situation
Series of programs led and initiated by international partners can be used to assess the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed solutions, including the sustainable water usage and pollution control to restore the ecosystems in Africa and ensure that the whole population is receiving access to the least basic water services. In addition, the programs will ensure the global collaboration discussed above.
All stakeholders should proceed immediately
As mentioned above, the United nation clearly stated that much has to be done to be in line with the SDG goals of year 2030. In this regard, we recommended to focus on clear policies that call for an immediate action plan to ensure those goals. But most importantly, we recommend all stakeholders to proceed immediately as the African continent is in a desperate water situation while mortality rates are going through the roof.
For more info, read the following articles: https://www.unep.org/explore-topics/sustainable-development-goals/why-do-sustainable-development-goals-matter/goal-6
A group of us here at the UN development program are tasked with dealing with important issue of underage pregnancy in third world countries. Teenage pregnancies (14-15 years) have been drastically increasing across many underdeveloped countries. It seems teenagers in these countries hold the view that a successful future is one in which you have multiple children, forming a big family as early on in life as you can. This leads to the unwanted issue that comes along early age pregnancy. Rising cases of sexual transmitted diseases and impoverished children who cannot be supported by a mother who is in turn being supported by a parent. So we thought what about implementing mandatory education programs across schools in third world countries? Can we influence their relationship decisions? We looked into the correlation of education programs and teenage pregnancy levels in other areas access the world. Level of education was compared to the number of pregnancies in girls aged 14 to 15 years. Interestingly enough we saw that teenage pregnancy rates are far lower in those countries with high education levels. Our goal was to then implement these education programs across developing countries that struggled most with underage pregnancy. We feel that this mandatory inclusion of sex education into all curriculums would be best suited to tackle the issue of rising teenage pregnancy.
Despite rising commodity prices and concerns from international leaders about energy scarcities and gas costs at the pump, millions of people in Africa still do not have access to electricity.
Only three nations in West and Central Africa are on track to provide power to every citizen by 2030, according to the SDG7 agenda. In the region, 263 million people will go without electricity in ten years if things continue at this poor rate. One of the lowest rates of electricity access in the world is in West Africa, where only 8% of rural inhabitants and 42% of the general population have access to it.
These numbers—some much too large, some much too small—have serious repercussions. Enhancing people’s chances and options starts with electricity. Access is essential for increasing economic activity and helps to improve human capital, which is an investment in a nation’s future potential.
Children cannot complete their education at night without electricity. Businesspeople are unable to trade with one another or obtain market information. Even worse, as the COVID-19 epidemic has so clearly demonstrated, a lack of energy restricts hospital and emergency services, putting patients at even greater risk and tainting priceless medications.
How will West and Central Africa be powered?
Accelerating the transition to universal energy access is crucial right now in order to fuel the continent’s economic change and encourage socioeconomic inclusion. Without consistent access to electricity, a nation’s social fabric may suffer, with those without it growing weary of inequality. Here are some audacious strategies that are needed to address the energy access challenge in the African continent.
One of the things can be done is to make utilities profitable. Many electricity suppliers in the area are cash-strapped and run infrastructure and a generation fleet that is outdated and in poor condition. As a result, they are unable to provide their consumers with electricity that is both dependable and economical, much alone provide electricity to those who currently have to rely on subpar alternatives to electricity. In Sub-Saharan Africa, less than half of the utilities make back their operating costs, which causes GDP losses of up to 4% in some nations.
Lowering the cost of supply is a requirement for increasing electricity access to those who are currently without it, typically lower-income and frequently remote households. This is accomplished by improving the performance of national utilities and greening their power generation mix.
West and Central African nations must go outside their boundaries in order to further link their national utilities and grids to other systems in the area. This is a crucial second point. Without effective regional trade, many nations would be largely dependent on a small number of energy supplies and polluting generation sources, necessitating the importation of fuel at volatile international oil prices.
Last but not least, political leaders will need to dedicate a lot of time and effort to obtaining universal access to power, especially when it comes to creating laws and rules that can draw reputable investments.
Fatou is a 27-year-old housewife. At 15 years old, she decided to quit her education to get married to the love of her life, a man 8 years older than her, who had promised her a wealthy life in which she wouldn’t worry about a thing.
A few years into her marriage, her husband wasn’t doing well financially, and she found herself financially abused by him. All the promises went into vain and she was there begging for a penny to get the most basic goods she needed. Looking at herself, she found herself with no knowledge or skills to help her stand on her feet. With no education to support her, she felt like all the doors were shut, and her only salvation was her husband, who in turn belittled her for always being dependent on him, noting that it had been himself who stopped her from being an achiever.
This is not only the story of Fatou, but also that of millions of women living in disparity because they couldn’t be self-sufficient and independent. This story is yet another example of what the SDGs tackle, like Reduced Inequalities, among others as Quality Education and Gender Equality.
The contribution of women in the society decreases early marriage, and early marriage is linked to low education.
The graph shows the countries with the highest number of women who were first married by age of 15.
The top 3 countries with the highest number of women who were early married are Niger with 37.37% , Bangladesh with 32% and Chad with 29.25%.
Moreover, 76% of girls in Niger are married before their 18th birthday and 28% are married before the age of 15. Niger has the highest prevalence of child marriage in the world and the 13th highest absolute number of women married or in a union before the age of 18 globally – 745,000.
As a result, Awareness campaigns must be done to limit early marriage, and impose laws on marriage before 18.
In the time it has taken to read this article 39 girls under the age of 18 have been married
Each year, 12 million girls are married before the age of 18