Thursday, June 04, 2009

WEST AFRICA: Combating world's lowest literacy rates

Source: IRINnews
The following are direct quotes from the aforementioned article:

*Illiteracy rates in West Africa are the highest in the world, cramping development and weakening citizens’ power to effect socio-economic and political change,

*Sixty-five million West African adults – 40 percent of the adult population – cannot read or write according to a new study, 'From closed books to open doors – West Africa's literacy challenge'.

*Of the 10 countries with the world’s lowest recorded adult – 15 and older – literacy rates, seven are in West Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Sierra Leone, the report says.

*An educated population will also show stronger support for democracy

*Education activist and former child soldier in Sierra Leone, Ishmael Beah, told IRIN: “Education is not only something to get a career or change your socio-economic status, but it is a way you can begin to understand your government and demand more of it.”

*Rich country aid to education in West Africa in 2007 was equal to just one per cent of what the US government spent on bailing out [insurance company] AIG alone,” Pearce said.

*When supporting education donors should pay more heed to literacy, the report says.

Click here to read the full article!


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