Africa culture/tradition education

Leadership: Is Education really worth it?

I debated myself on the relevance of education in Africa.

So I am going to weigh my thoughts on a pendulum. Say the pendulum swung to yes, then I wonder why we have educated Africans who make little or no effort in enhancing the social and economic well-being of the continent. I wonder why people with academic zeal are not supported or encouraged to be their best selves and I wonder when top political leadership in Africa will be a function of the educated class.

It’s unfortunate that this continent with abundant human and material resources, arable land and sunshine offer very little in terms of economic, infrastructural, social and human index development. Currently, African countries record as some of the World’s poorest countries with high infant mortality rate, high unemployment and inflation rates, civil unrest and more. While Africa is endowed her leaders can’t manage her endowment efficiently.

Graduates leave school with high hopes (one may have struggled to graduate through economic hardships). Then comes the government(s) with no visible plan(s) to assimilate these graduates into the workforce. So is education really relevant for the African youth?

When the desirable is not available the available becomes desirable. Most of Africa’s graduates seek ready jobs. Few wish to start up businesses or entrepreneurial ventures. Even these few may be constrained by factors such as unavailability of start-up capital. In search for jobs graduates even lose the reason why they attended school in the first place. Can you imagine a Law or Finance graduate teaching Government or Mathematics in classrooms? Also as unemployment persists, graduates resort to many vices to make ends meet. Crime rates (internet scams, kidnapping, robbery, drug dealing etc) are on the high. Unemployment contributed to this.

When I made mention of political leadership, I intended to draw attention to this: while economic and social leadership are in the hands of the educated, political leadership still remain in the hands of the less educated. It is from these hands that signatures and affairs concerning the welfare of the state emanate. A blind man can’t lead a blind man.

Sometimes I think education is not doing much for the African youth. To get things working fine, we have to start from our political leadership. Every leader who won’t make education a priority, should not be allowed to lead.

By Oke Iroegbu

Finance Graduate, Bibliophile and Bard of Ovim, his hometown. Read more at

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