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  • Education in Western and Central Africa

    Educating Youth to Transform Western and Central Africa

    A vision where all girls and boys arrive at school ready to learn, acquire quality learning, and enter the job market with the skills to become productive and fulfilled citizens.

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Despite significant gains in expanding access to education in Western and Central Africa over the past two decades, many challenges remain and learning poverty is preventing the region from achieving higher economic growth and shared prosperity.

Leaders from across Western and Central Africa endorsed the Accra Urgent Call for Action on Education in June 2022 to meet ambitious targets with a focus on:

  • helping 30 million children to read by 2030;
  • ensuring that 12.5 million more adolescent girls are in school by 2030;
  • training 3.7 million more young adults in foundational skills by 2025;
  • ensuring that 1 million more youth acquire digital skills by 2025, of whom 60% are expected to obtain better jobs.

To sustain the momentum, the World Bank has ramped up its engagement in education and is working with all its partners across the region to achieve the ambitious goal of educating all young people.

“Putting our young people first is at the heart of our work. The future of any society lies in its ability to provide its children and youth with the tools and opportunities to flourish as individuals, and to contribute to the collective development of the society and country. This can only be achieved through an education system that is accessible to everyone. Such a system must be fair and adapted to the needs of the current and future populations, as well as the labor market”, said Ousmane Diagana, World Bank Vice President for Western and Central Africa.

Here are some game changing projects that are making a real difference in empowering our youth and transforming our countries.


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The World Bank

From School to Jobs: A Journey for the Young People of Western and Central Africa | Ama's Story

Despite progress in access to education over the years, 80% of 10-year-old children in Western and Central Africa are unable to read and understand a simple text, and more than 32 million children remain out of school, the largest share of the world’s out of school children. Yet, it is possible to turn the tide with more investments in education reforms by 2025. Watch the trajectory of Ama, and learn how this curious little girl who loves to learn is able to go to primary school until joining the workforce.


The World Bank

Education is the cornerstone for development | People First Podcast (in French)

In this episode, Ousmane Diagana, World Bank Vice President for Western and Central Africa, discusses the challenges he faced during his education journey. From Kaédi to Washington, he tells us what drives his commitment to improve education quality in Africa.
Hafsat Abdullahi, Nigeria

Hafsat Abdullahi, Nigeria - #YouthActOnEDU Spoken Word Winner

I grew up on these streets And here on these streets We have dreams and aspirations making innovations in devil's workshops Here, hunger is the drive, we only thrive to survive Here on these streets, education is key But what good a key when there are no doors for the poor?
Rita Nana Adwoa Arthur, Ghana

Rita Nana Adwoa Arthur, Ghana - #YouthActOnEDU Spoken Word Winner

Girl meets world. Boy does too. Both desire to go to school. In the restless space of political, social and all other things affecting their sweet scholarly dreams they dare to dream. Still. Of the day when they arrive at school with hungry minds and...

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