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Al Sumait Prize publishes white paper on Education Challenges facing Afrcia

Press release   •   Jul 24, 2017 12:03 UTC

Africa is a continent that is struggling to develop policy and infrastructure in
the face of a booming population. As stated by the United Nations, Africa is the fastest growing region in the world with half of the world’s population projected to be living in Africa by the year 2050. High population growth is especially prevalent in the 48 countries that the United Nations have identified as least developed. Of these 48 countries 27 of these nations are in Africa. With this expanding population the issues of poverty, malnutrition, and access to healthcare and education are the pillars holding the continent back.

As Africa faces challenges relating to a changing climate, food security and an increasing population, education could be the key to unlocking the continent’s future. However, the development of and access to quality education in Africa is still a major challenge due to a variety

of key factors. The reasons behind the challenge of educating the
population are not simple and there is not one reason behind the
barriers to education in Africa. However, access to quality education for all boys and girls is still not a reality for many across the continent, in particular in areas such as the Sub-Sahara.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals were formed in 2015 to address a range of world issues including education. The aim of the education specific goal is to ensure that by the year 2030 “all boys and girls around the world complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education”. Figures by the United Nations show that whilst the rates of enrolment in primary education in developing countries have reached 91 per cent, 57 million children around the world are not attending school. Half of the world’s children who have not enrolled to attend school live in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is estimated that 50 per cent primary school aged children who are not in school live in areas affected by conflict. Of the 103 million young people who do not possess basic literacy skills such as the ability to read or write, 60 per cent are women

Kuwait's Al-Sumait Prizes are a set of annual awards designed to honor significant advances in the fields of food security, health and education in Africa. Administered by the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) and a Board of Trustees, the awards celebrate the work and accomplishments of Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Sumait, a Kuwaiti physician who spent his lifetime helping the poor in Africa in the field of health and education. The objective of the prizes is to recognize best studies, scientific projects, applied research, and innovative initiatives that have a significant impact and lasting influence on advancing progress to economic and social development in Africa.

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