Keeping or catching up? Population dynamics and education in Africa

  • Grace Chisamya
  • Adrian Gauci
Keywords: Population dynamics, Education quality, Fiscal allocation


Africa will account for 80 percent of the 4 billion increase in world population by 2100. A demographic transition with an increase in its working age population provides a window of opportunity which if reaped will lead to a “demographic dividend” for accelerated growth. In Africa, declining mortality yet combined with high fertility rates constitute unusual population dynamics of developing countries. The dividend is underpinned by adequate skill profiles. Using secondary data sources on education, population trends and fiscal allocation this paper shows that keeping up with increased student intake has somewhat compromised quality of education and adequate skills.  In particular the fiscal allocation to education seems not to be aligned to increased student intake further contributing to the challenge of educational quality. The results show that population change contribute only 6 percent change in educational unit allocation thus compromising the possible dividend.