Q&A: The Higher Education Equation in Africa's Development ; When It Comes to Educating the Future Leaders of Africa, the Answer Quickly Becomes International

The Christian Science Monitor, September 3, 2003 | Go to article overview

Q&A: The Higher Education Equation in Africa's Development ; When It Comes to Educating the Future Leaders of Africa, the Answer Quickly Becomes International


Danna Harman just completed a two-and-a-half year tour as the Monitor's Africa correspondent. She discussed the role of higher education in the development of Africa with csmonitor.com's Jim Bencivenga.

What are the top three universities in Africa and where are they located? Why are they considered the top three? Can you compare these universities to top-tier schools in the US and give a hint as to why Africans want to study in the west so badly.

I would say the best universities on the continent are in South Africa - one can't really compare the infrastructure and money poured into the programs at, say the University of Joberg (Witswaterand) or the University of Cape Town, to what goes on elsewhere on the continent - and several of these South African universities can indeed be compared to schools in the US in terms of the level of teaching and students.

Elsewhere on the continent, I would say the two top schools might be Makerere in Kampala, Uganda and the University of Ghana at Legon outside Accra. Both of these universities have received enormous financial and institutional support from outside foundations, universities and foreign donor countries, and have many strong departments. They have applicant pools from around the continent and outside it and their graduates are found in top positions all over Africa.

But, even so, many Africans who are able to do so, would still apply to go study at top-tier schools in the US, either for undergraduate work, or more likely, for graduate work. This is partly because the US schools (especially when compared to Makere and the University of Ghana) have better facilities, labs, teachers, etc., but mostly because of the exposure and entree to a larger world that the US universities promise to afford.

Which country in Africa has the highest literacy rates? Which has the lowest?

The sad thing is that many countries tie for the lowest literacy rate on the continent. Mozambique has the absolute lowest - with Angola, Burundi, and Ethiopia right behind it. Botswana probably has the highest rate, with the government paying for all education, including university level.

What role do Western corporations play in educating native Africans to run and staff their African affiliates?

Western corporations working in Africa are often accused of making money off the continent without putting enough back in. Critics argue that big corporations like Chevron, for example, which makes many millions of dollars from oil from the continent, should use their clout (which is often greater than the clout of foreign governments or non-governmental organizations) to influence local governments to behave better. That's a good point.

But, at the same time, I have found many big corporations give back to the community by helping train and educate Africans to run their concerns. Each company has its own quota systems, and many work to ensure that a certain percent of their top staff positions are filled with Africans, not expats - which is of course doubly helpful to the economies of these countries.

Would you say that Western companies, rather than Western universities, are the best hope for the transfer of skills to lift African nations out of poverty while building an indigenous middle class?

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Q&A: The Higher Education Equation in Africa's Development ; When It Comes to Educating the Future Leaders of Africa, the Answer Quickly Becomes International
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.