The Business of Education in Africa – report launch | The Roll of Aga Khan Education service in the Continent

Path-breaking report launched at World Economic Forum demonstrates the importance of private education in addressing the continent’s education crisis.

New study demonstrates the importance of private education in addressing the continent’s education crisis.

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Despite extraordinary gains in access, tens of millions of African children and young people do not have access to high-quality education. At the same time, a growing percentage of African youth are accessing education from the private sector. Educating Africa’s youth remains an enormous challenge, one that will grow more acute given population growth, globalization, and stretched public resources. All resources – both public and private – must be fully engaged to meet this challenge.

These are the findings of a new study released today at the World Economic Forum which can be viewed and downloaded from here:


To meet the sustainable development goals, governments require a mix of private provision (for-profit and not-for-profit), public private partnerships, and improvement of public systems. A vibrant private sector, particularly when operating in an engaged, flexible, and cordial relationship with government, can help drive access, quality, relevance, and innovation.

The Aga Khan Development Network has been investing in education in Africa for several decades. Four of its ten agencies are dedicated to improving education on the continent, from the early years through to university.  From improving public systems to operating non-profit centres of excellence, the non-profit Aga Khan Foundation, Aga Khan Academies, Aga Khan Education Services, and Aga Khan University demonstrate how private institutions can deliver public goods, addressing Africa’s education crisis.

Furthermore, the Aga Khan Development Network is also investing in capacity building and system strengthening. Since 2012, AKDN has worked with partners to strengthen public education systems in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, and has reached 1,300 public schools, trained 6,000 teachers, and reached 500,000 students. Aga Khan University’s Institute for Educational Development Tanzania trains educators on student-centered approaches that build problem-solving skills and encourage independent thinking. More than 250 master’s degrees and more than 3,000 educators have been trained through certificate programs, short courses, and workshops. Ensuring educators have access to and training in best-practices for education is key to building a stronger system.

Matt Reed, CEO of Aga Khan Foundation UK: “We welcome this report, which sheds new light on the opportunities for a wide variety of institutions, both public and private, to help African youth develop to the best of their potential.”

Education systems around the world work with the private sector to improve educational outcomes and private education provision is on the rise across emerging markets. In order to meet the education needs of their rapidly-growing populations, African governments can and should consider the private sector in their planning. Governments have a vital role to play in creating the enabling regulatory context that will support the development of high-quality and socially beneficial private-sector education.

The report’s funders include the Aga Khan Foundation, CDC Group, The ELMA Foundation, the IDP Foundation, the UK Department for International Development, the US Agency for International Development, the Vitol Foundation, and Yellowwoods Investments.

Read full on Aga Khan Foundation UK



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