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The problem of education and development in sub-Saharan Africa

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Jeffery Hall

UCL Institute of Education

20 Bedford Way

London

WC1H 0AL

United Kingdom

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Professor Oketch was educated in Kenya and the USA, and at the IOE runs the innovative Masters programme Education Planning, Economics and International Development. He has published extensively on the implementation of education policies in the developing world, focussing mainly on sub-Saharan Africa, and commented widely in the media on issues relating to his research. His current research spans three themes: ‘Opportunity to Learn’ (the quality of resources, school conditions, curriculum, and teaching that students experience) and inequalities; technical and vocational education and employability; and the financing of higher education. Prior to joining the IOE, Moses worked at Vanderbilt University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has also helped to build research capacity in Africa through his involvement with the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC).


African governments and donor partners have long regarded investment in education as being central to economic growth in the region – but this investment is yet to achieve rapid economic improvement. Why is that? And what should be done to better realise that goal? In this lecture, Professor Oketch addresses the compelling narrative of human capital theory – the doctrine, underpinning public policy world-wide, that investment in education is instrumental for economic growth – and what we can learn from its application in sub-Saharan Africa. In this, he draws on evidence from across different aspects of education policy, including (i) the provision of universal basic education, (ii) the focus on Technical Vocational Education and Training, and (iii) the financing of higher education. He highlights the impediments to growth from wider factors in the region, not least rampant corruption and civil war, but also poor implementation of an otherwise necessary focus on building the skills-base. However commanding human capital theory is, he argues, it remains tacit if the actual implementation of policies isn’t effective.


The lecture will be followed by a wine reception.


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Jeffery Hall

UCL Institute of Education

20 Bedford Way

London

WC1H 0AL

United Kingdom

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