Helping Africa into the global economy

From South Africa to Zimbabwe, many international businesses
and entrepreneurs are trying to create better opportunities for Africa’s
people. But they lack the education and training to grow businesses beyond a
rudimentary level in the region.


As the advanced economies benefit from unprecedented
technological changes, Africa stands in danger of becoming lost amidst the
global economic growth taking place around it. According to the US Commerce
Department, only 0.7 per cent of Africans have access to the Internet, compared
to 51 per cent of Americans, who own at least one computer, and 41 per cent
with access to the Internet at home.


Yet Africa has eight of the youngest populations in the
world. Given that the developed world has an ageing population, increasing
birth rates in the under-developed world mean it has a great resource that the
West can take advantage of. But to do that, Africa’s population needs help with
educational development to bridge the digital divide.


Unfortunately, the 10 nations with the lowest education
levels are also in Africa. Lack of primary level education means high levels of
illiteracy. Private-sector interests from outside Africa may, therefore, have
to contribute in meaningful ways to supplement governmental and non-profit aid
to the region so it can become an effective and efficient player in the global
market. In doing so these companies also help themselves to make headway into


Source: The Economist

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