I have travelled all over the world from Bali to Tajikistan, from Greece to El Salvador. I am a passionate lover of culture and travel. There is not a place on this planet that I would not be open to visit and see firsthand if given the opportunity. I have eaten grasshoppers in Mexico, slept in a yurt in Kyrgyzstan and eaten my fair share of piping hot sambhar in India. Having said all of that -I need to make a confession. Although I have been blessed to see many parts of this amazing world,
I heart Africa.
I have an undying love for every country, every tribe, the many languages, the landscape, the food, the history, its struggles and its triumph. Although Africa does not have one singular story, I do believe that every country on that beautiful continent has the potential to mobilize its human capital to help it reach its full potential. I believe that one day, Africa will transform Africa. I also believe that there is one key that unlocks human capital in any society– and that key is education.
Education represents a powerful tool for generating jobs, improving incomes, and expanding the opportunities available to young people in developing countries. Let’s look at some pretty hard facts:
The 2007 Millennium Goal Report states: Based on enrolment data, about 72 million children of primary school age in the developing world were not in school in 2005; 57 per cent of them were girls. And these are regarded as optimistic numbers the report importantly notes that “As high as this number seems, surveys show that it underestimates the actual number of children who, though enrolled, are not attending school. Moreover, neither enrolment nor attendance figures reflect children who do not attend school regularly. To make matters worse, official data are not usually available from countries in conflict or post-conflict situations. If data from these countries were reflected in global estimates, the enrolment picture would be even less optimistic.
Ummm…That’s unacceptable. It makes me sick to my stomach when I think about it. It also makes me angry. Very. Angry.
To right such a huge wrong we will have to think big. We will need new innovative minds, looking at new ways to solve a HUGE problem. We need teachers,government, churches and entrepreneurs. A problem of this magnitude needs people who only think about results and the creation of sustainable, replicable programs. We need start up guys! People who are passionate while being hyped up on red bull- who want to channel that passion and all of their smarts and use it to find new ways to kick ass and make a solemn oath that everyone of the 72 million plus children around the world will get a quality education.
Africa has all the resources needed to mobilize its amazing social, human and financial capital, but Educating Africa is a critical first step.