Africa is the fastest-growing continental economy in the world today, thanks in large part to the fact that its population is so young. But one consequence of having a lot of young people is that Africa faces a massive practical problem, the problem of how to educate its millions of poor young people in the knowledge and skills that can make them prosperous. As it happens, a very large number of poor Africans have already found a solution to that problem. But some of the best known aid agencies and international organizations don’t like this solution at all, and indeed some are campaigning hard to put a stop to it.
The solution is private education. A very large proportion of the new entrants to education in Africa and other emerging economies are attending private schools, the so-called ‘low-cost’ education sector that is the most dynamic provider of primary education in countries like Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya. These are private schools that offer teaching at rock-bottom rates to the very poorest.