Africa education investment research

New Private and International Schools set to expand across Africa

Africa stands poised as the second-fastest-growing region globally, closely following Asia. Projections indicate promising economic performance in eleven key African countries, including Niger, Senegal, and Libya, with growth rates ranging from 6% to 11.2%. Furthermore, in 2024, a total of 41 countries across the continent are anticipated to achieve an economic growth rate of 3.8%, with 13 of them surpassing the growth rates recorded in 2023 by over 1 percentage point. These statistics underscore Africa’s potential for economic advancement. Overall, the continent’s real gross domestic product (GDP) growth is projected to average 3.8% in 2024 and rise to 4.2% in 2025, surpassing global averages. This paints a compelling picture for potential investment opportunities in various sectors, including education. Education in Africa is set to expand and improve rapidly. (Source)

Significant transformations are unfolding for Education in Africa

Significant transformations are unfolding in Africa, where the population is anticipated to nearly double to 2.5 billion within the next twenty-five years. Experts assert that this period of growth will not only bring about profound changes within many African nations but also fundamentally alter their global relationships.

While birthrates decline in wealthier nations, prompting concerns about the provision and funding of care for aging populations, Africa experiences a robust baby boom, propelling it to have the youngest and fastest-growing population worldwide.

In 1950, Africans represented 8 per cent of the global population. However, according to United Nations projections, a century later, they are expected to comprise one-quarter of humanity, with at least one-third of individuals aged 15 to 24.

The median age across the African continent stands at 19, notably lower than India, the most populous nation globally, at 28, and even more so than China and the United States, where the median age is 38.

“The implications of this “youthquake,” as some call it, are immense yet uncertain, and likely to vary greatly across Africa, a continent of myriad cultures and some 54 countries that covers an area larger than China, Europe, India and the United States combined. But its first signs are already here.”

(Source – New York Times)

A Rising Middle Class and Expat Immigration to Africa

The burgeoning middle class is increasingly inclined to invest in high-quality education for their children.

A rising expatriate population and heightened interest from local families are driving the anticipated growth in demand for international schools in Africa over the next decade.

The number of English-medium international schools in Africa could more than double from the current 700 to over 1,500 by 2025, accommodating an estimated 625,000 students. While international schools were once predominantly attended by diplomats and expatriates, recent trends show increased interest from affluent locals and parents aspiring for their children to pursue education abroad.

International schools rely on attracting skilled, experienced expatriate teachers, necessitating competitive salaries along with additional benefits such as medical coverage, housing allowances, or airfare during breaks. Consequently, these schools often charge higher fees compared to local alternatives.

Despite concerns over affordability, a study by the International Schools Database revealed that Africa still offers some of the most cost-effective options for international education globally.

Among 76 cities surveyed worldwide, all six African cities included ranked among the 20 cities with the lowest international school fees. Nairobi, Kenya, emerged as the most expensive African destination, with a price range spanning from $935 to nearly $31,000 per year. Conversely, Cape Town, South Africa, maintained its position as the continent’s most affordable city for international schooling and the second-most economical globally, with fees ranging from $2,203 to $5,634 annually.


On a regional level:

Where will the expansions happen?

There are many factors that will contribute including economic growth of cities, size of population and infrastructure.

East Africa: East Africa will continue to lead Africa’s growth momentum, with growth projected to rise to 5.1% in 2024 and 5.7% in 2025, supported by strong strategic investments to improve internal connectivity and deepen intra-regional trade.

North Africa: Successive adverse weather conditions and macroeconomic challenges will hold the region’s growth steady at 3.9% in 2024 with a slight improvement to 4.1% in 2025.

Central Africa: Growth is forecast to moderate to 3.5% in 2024 but projected recovery in private consumption and increases in mining investment and exports could help push growth to 4.1% in 2025.

Southern Africa: Growth will remain sluggish at 2.2 and 2.6% in 2024 and 2025, respectively. This reflects continued economic weakness in South Africa, the region’s largest economy.

West Africa: Growth is projected to pick up to 4 and 4.4% in 2024 and 2025 respectively. Strong growth in most countries in the region is projected to offset slowdowns in Nigeria and Ghana.

(Source )

Education in Africa Set to Expand and Improve:

This comprehensive report shares data and analysis focusing on the key African countries set to benefit from this increasing growth.

It includes important targets for the education industry and will inform, strategies for developing new private and international schools in key locations.

African Countries – An Overview

Africa is comprised of 1.4 Billion people across 54 recognized countries, each with its own unique history, culture, geography, and socio-economic characteristics. The continent covers an economy of over 3 Trillion Dollars.

A brief overview of the diversity and differences among African countries:

  1. Geography: African countries vary widely in geography, ranging from vast deserts like the Sahara in countries such as Algeria and Libya, to lush rainforests in the Congo Basin found in countries like the Democratic Republic of the Congo. There are also savannahs, mountains, rivers, and coastal regions, contributing to a rich diversity of ecosystems.
  2. Cultural Diversity: Africa has many ethnic groups, languages, religions, and cultural traditions. Each country has its distinct cultural heritage shaped by indigenous traditions, colonial legacies, and influences from neighbouring regions. For example, Nigeria alone is estimated to have over 250 ethnic groups, each with its own language and cultural practices.
  3. Language: Thousands of languages are spoken across Africa, reflecting its linguistic diversity. While many African countries have adopted European languages like English, French, Portuguese, or Spanish as official languages due to colonial history, indigenous languages remain prevalent and are often spoken alongside official languages.
  4. Religion: Africa is religiously diverse, with Islam, Christianity, traditional African religions, and other faiths practised across the continent. The dominant religion varies from country to country and influences social norms, customs, and governance structures.
  5. History: African countries have rich and complex histories, including ancient civilizations, pre-colonial kingdoms and empires, and the impact of colonialism. These historical experiences have shaped contemporary socio-political dynamics, economic systems, and cultural identities.
  6. Economic Development: African countries exhibit various economic development levels, from low-income nations to emerging economies. Natural resource endowments, governance quality, infrastructure, and human capital influence economic growth and development trajectories.
  7. Political Systems: The political landscape in Africa is diverse, with countries ranging from authoritarian regimes to multiparty democracies. Political stability, governance effectiveness, and respect for human rights vary widely across the continent.
  8. Challenges and Opportunities: African countries face many challenges, including poverty, inequality, conflict, corruption, and environmental degradation. However, there are also immense opportunities for growth and development, driven by demographic trends, natural resource wealth, and increasing regional integration efforts. Education in Africa will be a key lever for change.

Education in Africa
  • Algeria
  • Angola
  • Benin
  • Botswana
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cameroon
  • Cape Verde
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Comoros
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Republic of the Congo
  • Djibouti
  • Egypt
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Ivory Coast
  • Kenya
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Mali
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritius
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Rwanda
  • Sao Tome and Principe
  • Senegal
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Swaziland
  • Tanzania
  • Togo
  • Tunisia
  • Uganda
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

The 5 Largest African Economies in 2024

(International Monetary Fund)

1. South Africa

South Africa is nominally Africa’s largest economy, boasting an estimated GDP of nearly $400 billion.

The nation’s mining sector is a pivotal driver of its economy, contributing to approximately 60% of total exports during the first half of 2023. South Africa is a significant global producer of various minerals, including gold, diamonds, platinum, and manganese.

Education investment in South Africa

Despite its prominence, concerns surrounding the sustainability of South Africa’s mining industry have intensified post-pandemic. A report by PwC suggests that without renewed investment, the country’s gold industry could face depletion within less than 30 years. (Source)

Education in South Africa

South Africa boasts a diverse educational landscape, encompassing nearly 25,000 schools, with approximately 23,000 state schools and 2,000 independent schools, including private or international institutions. The state system classifies schools into primary education (ages 6–12) and secondary education (ages 13–18), while many private and international schools offer education from nursery to graduation.

Compulsory schooling in South Africa is mandatory between the ages of seven and 15, spanning Grades 1 to 9. Beyond Grade 9, students have three options: they can continue at an academic or technical (vocational) school and obtain the National Senior Certificate (NSC) or Matric, or they can enter the workforce at age 16.

Despite the extensive school network, South Africa’s education system faces ongoing criticism for disparities and resource limitations, which impact teaching quality, especially within the public sector. Resources, funding, and parental contributions to school fees influence variations in education standards among state schools, leading to low rankings in international assessments.

Public schools, while subsidized by the government, still charge fees ranging from R30,000 to 60,000 annually, with provisions for fee exemptions for financially constrained families. In contrast, private and international schools are significantly more expensive, with fees ranging from R100,000 to 200,000 per year.

Although there are 53 international schools out of nearly 25,000 schools in South Africa, they offer rigorous education but are less favoured due to high fees and strict admission criteria. These schools offer diverse curricula, including American, British, and French syllabuses, spanning primary to secondary education. In contrast, public schools are structured into primary and high schools without middle or intermediate schools.

International schools typically teach in the language of their curriculum (e.g., English, German, or French) and provide second language options. State schools transition to English or Afrikaans as the medium of instruction from Grade 4 onwards, following native language instruction up to Grade 3.

Furthermore, international schools follow the August to June academic year, diverging from local schools operating from January to December. Education in Africa is led very much by new standards set by international schools.

Education in Africa is Transforming

2. Nigeria

Education investment in Africa

Nigeria’s economic output in 2024 is projected to be approximately $395 billion. The country’s economy heavily relies on oil production, its primary export. However, declining oil production, coupled with foreign exchange challenges, has led to a broader economic crisis, resulting in protests. Additionally, inflation is a significant concern, with rates expected to peak at 33% by mid-2024. These economic challenges pose significant hurdles for Nigeria’s growth and stability.

Education in Nigeria

In Nigeria, the education system reveals a notable urban bias, primarily benefiting those with greater financial means, while rural areas grapple with infrastructural inadequacies. The journey through primary education spans six years, where children engage in studies encompassing biblical and Islamic teachings, English language, mathematics, science, and an ethnic language tied to their geographical location. Urban primary schools often supplement this curriculum with subjects like computer science, French, and art. Upon completing this phase, students undertake a common entrance examination to advance in their academic pursuits.

Junior secondary school, comprising the initial three years of secondary education, is typically funded either privately or by the state. Despite the intent of free education, many state-owned institutions necessitate students to procure their textbooks and uniforms, presenting financial hurdles, particularly for disadvantaged families.

Senior secondary school, the concluding three years of secondary education, plays a pivotal role in shaping Nigeria’s future generations. Elite private high schools deliver top-notch education, often prepping students for exams such as the General Certificate of Education Ordinary Level (GCE O-levels). Conversely, rural secondary schools encounter notable challenges, characterized by underqualified teachers and insufficient resources. Fiscal constraints may result in schools depleting their funds. Despite these hurdles, some students navigate through the system to attain success, although many face daunting journeys to achieve life accomplishments. Education in Africa in many regions is characterised by these features.

International schools in Nigeria cater to an international student demographic, often comprising expatriates and professional children. Although pricier than local counterparts, they provide an education aligned with global standards, appealing to expatriate families. These institutions typically offer smaller class sizes, superior facilities, and diverse extracurricular activities. Furthermore, many private secondary schools boast a remarkable university placement rate, nearing close to 100 per cent.

Education in Africa is Transforming

3. Egypt

The economic challenges facing Egypt, Africa’s third-largest economy, have been exacerbated by the Russia-Ukraine conflict, leading to extremely high inflation rates. Egypt’s heavy reliance on food imports from the affected nations has contributed significantly to the inflationary pressures. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), core inflation in Egypt soared to nearly 40% in 2023, while food inflation briefly exceeded 70%. (Source)

These soaring inflation rates pose significant challenges for Egypt’s economy, affecting the cost of living for its citizens and putting pressure on household budgets. High inflation can erode purchasing power, reduce real incomes, and impact overall economic stability. Addressing these inflationary pressures will likely require a combination of measures, including monetary policy adjustments, fiscal reforms, and efforts to boost domestic production and reduce reliance on imports.

Egypt and Africa

The Egyptian government and policymakers are likely to face the difficult task of implementing policies aimed at stabilizing prices and mitigating the impact of inflation on the population. Additionally, efforts to diversify the economy and enhance its resilience to external shocks, such as reducing dependency on food imports, may be necessary to address the root causes of inflation and foster long-term economic stability.

Education in Egypt

Egypt’s educational landscape is diverse, comprising both public and private sectors, and serves not only the nation but also the broader Arab world. The epicentre of educational governance resides in Cairo, home to numerous governmental offices overseeing the country’s education system, including the largest concentration of schools and higher education institutions in Egypt. Over the years, Egypt has made substantial progress in expanding and improving its education system, with a notable emphasis on early childhood care, supported by influential organizations like the World Bank and other multilateral institutions.

The public education system in Egypt is compulsory for children aged 4 to 14 and is structured into four primary stages: Kindergarten (ages 4-6), Primary school (ages 6-12), Preparatory school (ages 12-14), and Secondary school (ages 15-17). Within this system, there are three fundamental types of schools:

Arabic Schools: These government schools adhere to the national curriculum, with instruction primarily conducted in Arabic. English is introduced from the first year of primary school, and French is incorporated as a second foreign language during secondary education.

Experimental Language Schools: Government institutions offering instruction predominantly in English for subjects such as science, mathematics, and computer studies. These schools introduce French as a second foreign language during preparatory education and provide an advanced English curriculum across all educational stages. Social studies are taught in Arabic.

Al-Azhar Schools: This educational system comprises six years of primary education, three years of preparatory education, and three years of secondary education. Supervised by the Supreme Council of the Al-Azhar Institution, yet under the purview of the Ministry of Education, these schools primarily focus on religious subjects. Gender separation is practised throughout all educational stages, and all students are Muslim. Graduates from this system are automatically admitted to Al-Azhar University.

Each type of school or institution of Education in Africa caters to diverse educational needs and preferences, considering students’ linguistic, academic, and religious backgrounds. This multifaceted approach aims to provide comprehensive education and equip Egyptian youth with the necessary skills and knowledge to navigate the challenges and opportunities of the modern world.

Education in Africa is Transforming

4. Algeria

Oil plays a significant role in Algeria’s economy, contributing approximately 25% to its economic output, which was estimated at $239 billion. The oil sector is a crucial component of Algeria’s economy, providing substantial revenue and driving economic growth. Algeria is known for its abundant oil and natural gas reserves, which have made it one of the leading producers of hydrocarbons in Africa.

The oil industry in Algeria supports various economic sectors, including manufacturing, transportation, and infrastructure development. Revenue generated from oil exports helps fund government programs, social services, and infrastructure projects, contributing to the country’s overall development.

Investment in Africa

However, Algeria’s economy is not solely reliant on oil. The country also has diverse sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, and services, which contribute to its economic growth and stability. Diversification efforts are ongoing to reduce dependence on oil and promote sustainable economic development in Algeria.

Education in Algeria

The educational landscape in Algeria is diverse, with options ranging from public schools to private institutions, including international schools that cater to expatriate families. These international schools, often offering programs like the International Baccalaureate, provide a multicultural learning environment and may conduct classes in languages such as Spanish, Japanese, or German, accommodating the linguistic needs of expatriate students. However, admission to these schools can be competitive due to limited space, with preferences sometimes given based on nationality.

Despite the expense, international schools in Algeria maintain high educational standards, boasting smaller class sizes, advanced facilities, and extensive extracurricular offerings. Some even offer boarding facilities for students from various backgrounds, further enhancing their appeal. International education in Africa is extremely different from that in other sectors.

Within Algeria’s broader education system, schooling is compulsory for children aged 6 to 15, with Arabic serving as the primary language of instruction in public schools. French is introduced as a foreign language in all schools and holds prominence in post-secondary education and private institutions. Consequently, many Algerians are bilingual and proficient in both Arabic and French, reflecting the country’s rich cultural and linguistic diversity.

Education in Africa is Transforming

5. Ethiopia

In fifth-ranked Ethiopia, agriculture plays a crucial role, accounting for more than 40% of the country’s $192 billion GDP. Coffee is one of Ethiopia’s most significant exports, and the country is renowned for its high-quality coffee beans. Agriculture in Ethiopia encompasses a wide range of crops, including cereals, pulses, oilseeds, and spices.

In addition to agriculture, Ethiopia’s economy is also supported by other sectors, including manufacturing, services, and mining. Gold and gemstone mining are viewed as important areas of diversification for the country’s economy. Ethiopia has substantial untapped mineral resources, including gold, gemstones, and other valuable minerals, which present significant opportunities for economic growth and development.

Efforts to develop the mining sector in Ethiopia are underway, with the government implementing policies to attract investment and promote responsible mining practices. The development of the mining industry is seen as a strategic priority to diversify the economy, generate employment opportunities, and boost export earnings.

Education investment in Africa

Overall, Ethiopia’s economy is characterized by its diverse sectors, including agriculture, manufacturing, services, and mining. Efforts are focused on promoting sustainable economic growth and development across all sectors.

Education in Ethiopia

Education in Ethiopia has undergone a profound transformation, transitioning from its traditional roots grounded in the principles of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church to a more secular system adopted in the early 1900s. Despite these advancements, there remains a critical need for improvement, particularly in addressing high levels of illiteracy, especially prevalent in rural areas, and tackling gender disparities in education, where girls often face higher dropout rates than boys.

The general education system in Ethiopia typically spans eight years of primary schooling, followed by two years of lower secondary education and an additional two years of higher secondary education. Notably, public schools in Ethiopia generally do not admit foreign nationals. Education in Africa is transforming faster in the private sector.

For expatriate students and families residing in Ethiopia, international schools present an enticing alternative. These institutions cater to a diverse international student body and often adhere to curricula from countries such as the US, UK, or France. While instruction is predominantly offered in English or French, some international schools may provide primary instruction in other languages as well, offering multilingual education. These schools boast globally recognized accreditations, such as the International Baccalaureate, and provide high-quality learning environments with smaller class sizes, modern facilities, and an extensive array of extracurricular activities.

Admission procedures for international schools vary, and availability may be limited, with preferences occasionally given to students based on nationality. Although tuition fees at international schools may surpass local standards, they offer a top-tier education that equips students for further studies or careers on a global scale. While some international schools offer boarding facilities, the majority primarily provide day classes.

Education in Africa is Transforming

6. Morocco

The economic impact of the September 2023 earthquake in Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains has been relatively limited. Despite the earthquake, tourism activity has remained strong and is expected to continue supporting growth. However, the country faces challenges due to another year of drought, which is likely to constrain agricultural production and could lead to lower real GDP growth, potentially falling below 3% in 2024. This situation may also put pressure on food prices.

Although the earthquake has associated significant reconstruction costs, the government is committed to managing the fiscal deficit, which is projected to remain close to 5% of GDP in 2024. On the external front, Morocco’s balances have benefited from a shrinking current-account deficit, supported by a US$5 billion IMF precautionary credit line and US$1.3 billion under the resilience and sustainability facility.


Overall, while there are challenges ahead, both fiscal and external balances are expected to remain manageable during the forecast period from 2024 to 2028.

If you are considering setting up a new school in Morocco learn more from our specific article on the topic

Education in Morocco

In Morocco and all institutions of education in Africa, the system follows a structured path from preschool to high school, offering a comprehensive framework for learning and development.

At the preschool level, known as La Maternelle, children aged 3 to 6 attend for two to three years, where they delve into the fundamentals, including the Arabic alphabet and Quran verses. Private kindergartens provide instruction in French, Arabic, and sometimes English, along with engaging activities in arts, crafts, and indoor play.

Moving on to primary school, or Primaire, spanning ages 6 to 12, students embark on a six-year journey. They learn subjects in both French and Arabic, with English introduced later as a secondary language. Core curriculum areas include Arabic, French, science, Islamic education, mathematics, history, and geography. An important milestone occurs in the 6th grade when students must pass the standardized “Examen Normalisé.”

Transitioning to middle school, known as Le Collège, students aged 12 to 15 spend three years continuing their academic journey. The curriculum parallels primary school with an emphasis on similar subjects. Public schools offer secondary language classes, which may include English, Spanish, or German, while private institutions predominantly focus on English as a secondary language.

High school, or Le Lycée, caters to students aged 15 to 18 and offers a diverse array of academic pathways. Students select a curriculum aligned with their interests, such as literary, science, or technology branches. The curriculum encompasses a broad range of subjects, including literature, languages, mathematics, sciences, philosophy, and more. Each school year culminates in standardized tests, with the final year marked by a national examination covering various subjects.

When considering the education system in Morocco, like most institutions of education in Africa, a significant disparity exists between public and private schools. While public education is compulsory and free, public schools often grapple with challenges such as overcrowding, underfunding, and equipment shortages. In contrast, private schools offer superior facilities, smaller class sizes, and a richer array of resources. However, these advantages come with a financial burden, as private school fees range from $100 to several thousand dollars per month, depending on the school’s prestige and curriculum. This places a substantial strain on average families, particularly those with comparatively low incomes.

Education in Africa is Transforming

7. Kenya

According to the latest report from the African Development Bank (AfDB), Kenya’s economic growth is projected to be the slowest in the East African region in 2024. The report indicates that Kenya’s growth rate for the year will be 5.4 per cent, which is lower than that of neighbouring countries such as Rwanda, with 7.1 per cent, and Ethiopia, with 6.7 per cent.

Additionally, Kenya’s economic growth will trail behind Djibouti, Tanzania, and Uganda, whose growth rates are forecasted to be 6.2 per cent, 6.1 per cent, and 6 per cent, respectively.

Since 2020, the Kenyan economy has faced various challenges, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, high inflation, instability of the local currency, and the shilling. These factors have contributed to economic difficulties, such as the significant depreciation of the Kenyan shilling against the US dollar by over 25 per cent in the previous year. This depreciation has led to increased import costs, affecting business activities.

Furthermore, Kenya has experienced high inflation rates, exceeding 6 per cent, which has reduced consumers’ purchasing power and posed challenges to economic stability. These economic challenges have collectively contributed to the slower growth rate observed in Kenya compared to its East African counterparts in 2024.


Education in Kenya

The introduction of Kenya’s Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) system, also referred to as the 2-6-3-3-3 Education System, signifies a monumental overhaul in the nation’s education framework. This transformative system is structured to encompass various stages:

  • 2 years of pre-primary education (preschool)
  • 6 years of primary school (grades 1 to 6)
  • 3 years of junior secondary school
  • 3 years of senior secondary school
  • 3 years of university or tertiary education

The CBC system strongly emphasizes developing a broad spectrum of competencies and skills among students, diverging from the previous 8-4-4 system’s heavy reliance on examinations. It fosters the nurturing of talents across disciplines such as creative arts, sports, social sciences, and STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).

One pivotal aspect of the CBC system is its aim to mitigate the pressure and stress associated with high-stakes examinations like the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) and the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE). These exams, often criticized for their narrow focus, have placed immense burdens on students.

Moreover, the senior secondary school phase introduces a dynamic approach by offering three distinct tracks: Creative Arts and Sports, Social Sciences, and STEM subjects. This track-based system allows students to specialize in fields aligned with their individual interests and aptitudes.

To facilitate a seamless transition into the new system, the government has implemented supportive measures for students progressing from primary to high school. Additionally, efforts have been made to alleviate financial burdens by covering various expenses, including meals, ensuring equitable access to education for all students.

The government’s active involvement in implementing the CBC system is evident through its comprehensive plans to roll out the program by 2027 fully. This includes providing essential resources, conducting teacher training programs, and enhancing infrastructure to facilitate the transition.

In essence, the CBC system epitomizes a fundamental shift in Kenya’s educational landscape, prioritizing holistic development and equipping students with the skills necessary to thrive in the future. By acknowledging the limitations of the previous system and embracing innovative educational methodologies, Kenya endeavours to establish a more inclusive and dynamic education system that empowers all learners.

Education in Africa is Transforming

8. Angola


The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Angola was worth 106.78 billion US dollars in 2022 and is expected to reach 109.56 USD Billion by the end of 2024. In the long-term, the Angola GDP is projected to trend around 113.72 USD Billion in 2025 and 117.70 USD Billion in 2026. The population of Angola is estimated to be 36.7 million which gives a GDP per capita PPP of $11,274. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Angola expanded by 1.90 per cent in the third quarter of 2023 over the previous quarter. The GDP Growth Rate in Angola averaged 2.89 per cent from 2000 until 2023.

Education in Angola

In Angola, the aftermath of civil wars has profoundly impacted educational development, with the sector only recently stabilizing after enduring years of turmoil. Primary education, which is now stabilizing after years of upheaval, spans four compulsory years. Meanwhile, secondary education, provided for seven years in urban and larger rural areas, marks the culmination of Angola’s state-sponsored education program.

Despite recent strides in literacy and enrollment rates through significant reforms, persistent challenges mar the educational landscape. Dropout rates remain alarming, even as the Angolan Education Law (2021) mandates six years of free primary education. Shockingly, approximately two million children are still not attending school, underscoring the uphill battle toward universal education. Angola’s long-term development plan, Estratégia de Longo Prazo Angola 2025, underscores the importance of comprehensive development, particularly in the realm of education.

The scars of past conflicts continue to haunt the education system, despite the cessation of civil war over 15 years ago. Primary education, obligatory and free for children aged 7 to 11, faces immense hurdles, with an estimated two million children not enrolled. War-ravaged classrooms, often left unreconstructed, force learning outdoors, leading to frequent disruptions due to inclement weather. Additionally, existing classrooms suffer from overcrowding and lack vital resources, including outdated materials and insufficient furniture.

An ongoing challenge in Angolan educational institutions is the persistently inadequate quality of teachers. Undertrained educators, often burdened with teaching multiple subjects beyond their expertise, exacerbate systemic deficiencies. While the government historically prioritized expanding access to education, oversight of teaching quality was overlooked. Consequently, private institutions emerged without proper evaluation of their curriculum or facilities. This neglect, combined with a shortage of qualified educators, has further compromised the quality of higher education in Angola, perpetuating disparities in educational outcomes.

Education in Africa is Transforming

9. Côte d’Ivoire

In 2024, Côte d’Ivoire, a West African nation, displays a significant economic growth trajectory, boasting a real GDP growth rate of 6.6% and a real GDP per capita growth rate of 3.9%. These figures position it as the fifth fastest-growing African economy on our list of fifteen nations experiencing rapid economic expansion.

International Education in Africa

In 2024, Côte d’Ivoire, a West African nation, exhibits a significant economic momentum, boasting a real GDP growth rate of 6.6% and a real GDP per capita growth rate of 3.9%. This positions it as the fifth-fastest-growing African economy among the top 15 for the year.

Education in Côte d’Ivoire

In Côte d’Ivoire, the educational journey unfolds across three primary stages:

Primary School: This initial stage spans six years, where students engage in foundational learning and work towards obtaining a certificate of primary studies.

Secondary School: After completing primary education, students transition into a seven-year period of secondary schooling, which ultimately culminates in the attainment of a certificate or baccalauréat.

University Education, Technical, or Teacher-Training Institutions: Upon finishing secondary education, students have the opportunity to further their studies in universities, technical institutes, or teacher-training institutions, depending on their interests and career aspirations.

The academic calendar is structured into three terms, commencing in September and punctuated by breaks for Christmas and Easter, as well as a two-month hiatus during the summer. Typically, students dedicate approximately thirty hours per week to classroom instruction, with classes held from Monday through Saturday morning.

Despite concerted efforts, the literacy rate in the Ivory Coast remains relatively low, hovering around 48%. A significant portion of children remains unenrolled in formal education, and there persists a noticeable gap in the enrollment rates between male and female students, particularly as they progress into secondary education.

At the culmination of secondary schooling, students are faced with critical decisions regarding their future academic and professional paths, underscoring the importance of the educational system in shaping the trajectory of individuals and the nation as a whole.

Education in Africa is Transforming

10. Tanzania

In 2024, Tanzania, located in East Africa, is anticipated to be one of the top 10 fastest-growing economies on the African continent. With a real GDP growth rate of 6.1% and a real GDP per capita growth rate of 3%, Tanzania demonstrates significant economic advancement and potential for development.


Education in Tanzania

Education in Tanzania is structured into various stages, reflecting a blend of cultural and linguistic diversity alongside the need for academic advancement. The Tanzanian education system comprises:

Primary Schooling: Primary education spans seven years and is conducted in Kiswahili, Tanzania’s native language. While primary education is designed to be free, families often struggle with the costs of school uniforms, supplies, and other expenses, posing financial challenges.

Secondary Education: Secondary education consists of four years of Ordinary Level (Form 1-4) followed by two years of Advanced Level (Form 5-6). Instruction during secondary school is exclusively in English, emphasizing the importance of English proficiency acquired during primary education for success in secondary school.

Advanced Education: After completing the 13th year of secondary school, students may opt to take the Advanced Certificate examination and pursue further education in college for three to four years.

While Swahili serves as Tanzania’s national language, English is also taught in primary schools alongside subjects like Mathematics and Science. However, secondary school instruction transitions to being exclusively in English.

Despite efforts to make education accessible, challenges such as long distances to schools, household responsibilities, health issues, and financial constraints often hinder many children from attending primary school. These obstacles contribute to lower enrollment rates and attendance levels, particularly in rural and underserved areas of the country.

Education in Africa is Transforming

The 15 Fastest Growing African Economies in 2024

(International Monetary Fund)

1. Niger

Real GDP Growth Rate 2024: 11.1%

Real Per Capita GDP Growth Rate 2024: 7.1%

Niger will be the fastest-growing African economy in 2024, with a real GDP growth rate of 11.1% and a real GDP per capita growth rate of 7.1%. It is a West African country bordering Libya to the northeast. 

Education in Niger

The education system in Niger faces significant challenges. While schooling is mandatory for children aged seven to fifteen, the country struggles with a very low literacy rate of around 20%. Access to education is also uneven, especially for girls, with only 44% of them making it to the sixth grade. Although efforts are underway to enhance female participation and overall education, Niger still lags behind in this regard.

French is predominantly used as the language of instruction. Classes beginning with CP are based on the French system, while CI is designed to introduce students to the French language. Primary school completion is marked by a national examination known as the CFEPD (short for certificat de fin d’études du premier degré in French).

Investment in Education in Africa

2. Senegal

Real GDP Growth Rate 2024: 8.8%

Real Per Capita GDP Growth Rate 2024: 5.9%

Senegal is the 2nd fastest growing African economy on our list. It is the westernmost country in the African continent and is situated on the coastline of the Atlantic Ocean. Senegal has a real GDP growth rate of 8.8% and a real GDP per capita growth rate of 5.9%.

Education in Senegal

In Senegal, education is mandatory and provided at no cost until the age of 16. The country has made notable progress since 2000, significantly increasing primary school enrollment rates from 69.8 per cent to a stable 92.5 per cent. However, retaining students beyond the primary level poses challenges, as many are dissuaded by factors such as underqualified teachers, difficult learning environments, and insufficient resources.

Preschool education lasts up to three years and is available for children aged 3 to 5. Attending preschool allows children to join introductory courses at the age of six instead of waiting until they turn seven, although preschool attendance is not compulsory.

Primary education is for children aged 7 to 12 and is structured into six years divided into three two-year cycles. Successful completion of primary school is marked by obtaining the Certificate of Elementary Completion (CFEE) and passing an entrance examination for the next educational phase.

The middle school targets students aged 13 and comprises four years of study. To progress from middle school, students must pass the Brevet de Fin d’Études Moyennes (BFEM).

Secondary education in Senegal can be either general or technical, following the standards of the French lycée system. These programs last three years and are accredited by the French baccalaureate. Technical secondary education culminates in obtaining the Brevet d’Études Professionnelles (BEP) and the Brevet de Technicien (BT).

Investment in Education in Africa

3. Libya

Real GDP Growth Rate 2024: 7.5%

Real Per Capita GDP Growth Rate 2024: N/A

Libya is a West African country bordering the Mediterranean Sea to the north. It ranks among our top 3 fastest growing African economies in 2024. Libya has a real GDP growth rate of 7.5%.

Education in Libya

The instability within Libya has caused significant challenges within its education system. Nevertheless, the nation, with support from entities like the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), is striving to enhance the accessibility and standard of education. Presently, Libya boasts approximately 13 state universities, seven private universities, and an additional 91 technical institutes.

Primary education is provided free of charge and is mandatory in Libya. Children aged 6 to 15 typically attend primary school, followed by the option to continue to secondary school for an additional three years, catering to students aged 15 to 18.

Investment in Education in Africa

4. Rwanda

Real GDP Growth Rate 2024: 7%

Real Per Capita GDP Growth Rate 2024: 4.2%

Rwanda is the 4th fastest growing African economy on our list. It is an East African country with a real GDP growth rate of 7% and a real GDP per capita growth rate of 4.2%.

Education in Rwanda

The education system in Rwanda follows a 6-3-3-4 structure, which includes:

  1. Elementary or Primary School – 6 years
  2. Junior Secondary School (Ordinary level) – 3 years
  3. Senior Secondary School (Advanced level) – 3 years
  4. University Bachelor’s degree – 4 years

In Rwanda, elementary or primary education is divided into two stages: Primary one to three (P1 to P3) and Primary four to six (P4 to P6). After completing primary school, students take the Primary Leaving Examination to determine admission to the ordinary level, which includes grades seven to nine (S1 to S3).

The introduction of “random placement,” which prioritizes proximity to the school from home for student allocation, is imminently causing a significant change.

The current examination includes subjects such as English, Kinyarwanda, mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, information technology, history, geography, entrepreneurship, French, Kiswahili, physical education, and one elective subject (artistic subjects, home science, or agriculture). Grade nine concludes with an external ordinary level (O Level) examination.

Senior secondary education spans grades 10 to 12 (S4 to S6), with admission based on O Level examination results. There are three academic tracks: sciences, humanities, and languages.

The language of instruction changes from Kinyarwanda in primary school (P1-P3) to English from P4 through University. French and Swahili are offered as elective or supplemental subjects in public schools, while some private schools offer both Francophone and Anglophone systems using French or English as the language of instruction across all grades.

Investment in Education in Africa

5. Côte d’Ivoire

Real GDP Growth Rate 2024: 6.6%

Real Per Capita GDP Growth Rate 2024: 3.9%

Côte d’Ivoire is another West African country with a real GDP growth rate of 6.6% and a real GDP per capita growth rate of 3.9%. In 2024, it will rank fifth on our list of the 15 fastest-growing African economies.

Education in Côte d’Ivoire

In Côte d’Ivoire, the education system comprises three main stages:

  1. Primary School: This stage spans six years and leads to a certificate of primary studies.
  2. Secondary School: Following primary education, students enter a seven-year period culminating in a certificate or baccalauréat.
  3. University Education, Technical, or Teacher-Training Institutions: Upon completion of secondary education, students have the option to pursue higher education in universities, technical institutes, or teacher-training institutions.

The academic year is divided into three terms, starting in September, with breaks for Christmas and Easter, as well as a two-month summer recess. Typically, students attend classes for approximately thirty hours per week, from Monday through Saturday morning.

Despite efforts, the literacy rate in Ivory Coast remains low, standing at around 48%. Many children are not enrolled in school, and there is a notable disparity in the number of female students continuing to secondary education. At the conclusion of secondary education, students have the opportunity to sit for the Baccalauréat examination.

Investment in Education in Africa

6. Burkina Faso

Real GDP Growth Rate 2024: 6.4%

Real Per Capita GDP Growth Rate 2024: 3.5%

Burkina Faso ranks as the sixth fastest-growing African economy. It is a West African country with resilient economic growth. Its real GDP is expected to grow at 6.4% in 2024, and its real GDP per capita growth rate is 3.5%.  

Education in Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso’s education system reflects significant influence from France, its former colonizer. Education is compulsory for children aged 6 to 16, following the French model. While education is theoretically free, primary education often faces challenges due to insufficient government funding. Children typically must cover the costs of school supplies, and communities often contribute to building primary school infrastructure and housing for teachers.

French serves as the official language of Burkina Faso, used for both administrative purposes and education. The school week runs from Monday to Saturday, with Thursdays typically designated as a day off. Core curriculum subjects often include practical skills like agriculture, such as planting maize and raising chickens. A common practice is to have a break between 12:00 and 15:00.

International schools offer a more standardized curriculum and award internationally recognized diplomas, catering to those seeking education beyond the national system.

Investment in Education in Africa

7. Benin

Real GDP Growth Rate 2024: 6.3%

Real Per Capita GDP Growth Rate 2024: 3.4%

Benin ranks 7th on our list. It is a West African country demonstrating strong economic growth. Its real GDP growth rate is 6.3%, and its real GDP per capita growth rate is 3.4%. 

Education in Benin

Benin’s education system is currently evolving, with efforts to offer free public education. However, the country’s adult literacy rate stands at approximately 40 percent, highlighting significant room for improvement. Particularly concerning is the low literacy rate among women, with only 25 percent reported as literate. Although there are a limited number of international schools catering to international students, this aspect is expected to expand as Benin undergoes further development.

Investment in Education in Africa

8. Ethiopia

Real GDP Growth Rate 2024: 6.2%

Real Per Capita GDP Growth Rate 2024: 4.5%

Ethiopia is an East African country with a real GDP growth rate of 6.2% and a real GDP per capita growth rate of 4.5%. It ranks as the 8th fastest-growing African economy. 

Education in Ethiopia

Education in Ethiopia has historically been influenced by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church’s teachings. However, secular education was introduced in the early 1900s, marking a significant shift in the country’s educational landscape. Despite ongoing developments, there is a pressing need for improvement, particularly in addressing high levels of illiteracy, which persist even in comparison to other regions of Africa. Rural areas continue to face significant educational challenges, and there remains a notable disparity in the dropout rates between girls and boys.

The general education system in Ethiopia follows a sequence comprising eight years of primary school, two years of lower secondary school, and two years of higher secondary school. Notably, public schools in Ethiopia do not accept foreign nationals.

Investment in Education in Africa

9. The Gambia

Real GDP Growth Rate 2024: 6.2%

Real Per Capita GDP Growth Rate 2024: 3.1%

Gambia ranks 9th on our list of fastest-growing African economies in 2024. It is a West African country with a real GDP growth rate of 6.2% and a real GDP per capita growth rate of 3.1%. 

Education in Gambia

According to The Gambia’s Constitution, primary education is mandated as free and compulsory for a duration of seven years. However, due to limited resources and infrastructure, the country faces challenges in achieving high enrollment rates. The issue of school fees has been addressed to some extent since the President’s directive in February 1998, which abolished fees for the initial six years of schooling. Despite these efforts, the literacy rate remains relatively low at around 46%.

The education system in The Gambia follows the structure of the British system, comprising:

  1. Primary school: covering grades 1 to 6
  2. Junior Secondary school: spanning grades 7 to 9
  3. Senior Secondary school: encompassing grades 10 to 12
  4. University education

Examinations are held at the conclusion of grades 6 and 9 to assess student’s readiness for advancement to the next level. Upon completing grade 9, students have the option to pursue pre-vocational training at skills centres or continue their academic education. Upon completion of grade 12, students sit for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE). Depending on their examination results, they may choose to further their education at institutions such as the Technical Training Institute or Gambia College, pursue university studies, or enter the workforce directly.

Investment in Education in Africa

10. Tanzania

Real GDP Growth Rate 2024: 6.1%

Real Per Capita GDP Growth Rate 2024: 3%

Tanzania, an East African country, will be among the top 10 fastest-growing African economies in 2024. Its real GDP growth rate is 6.1%, and its real GDP per capita growth rate is 3%. 

Education in Tanzia

The Tanzanian education system is structured as follows:

  • 7 years of primary school: This phase is conducted in Kiswahili, the native language of Tanzania. While primary education is intended to be free, the costs associated with school uniforms, supplies, and other expenses often pose financial challenges for many families.
  • 4 years of secondary school (Ordinary Level) leading to 2 years of Advanced Level: Secondary education is divided into ordinary (Form 1-4) and advanced (Form 5-6) levels. Instruction during secondary school is in English. Proficiency in English acquired during primary education is crucial for success in secondary school.
  • After completing the 13th year of secondary school: Students may take the Advanced Certificate examination and proceed to attend college for 3 to 4 years.

Despite Swahili being the national language of Tanzania, English is also taught, along with subjects like Math and Science, in primary schools. However, secondary school instruction is exclusively in English.

Challenges such as the long distances to school, responsibilities at home, poor health, and financial constraints often hinder many children from attending primary school. These obstacles contribute to lower enrollment rates and attendance levels in certain areas.

Investment in Education in Africa

11. Burundi

Real GDP Growth Rate 2024: 6%

Real Per Capita GDP Growth Rate 2024: 2.9%

Burundi is situated in the Eastern part of Africa and ranks as the 11th fastest growing African economy in 2024. Burundi’s real GDP and real GDP per capita are expected to grow 6% and 2.9% in 2024, respectively.  

Education in Burundi

Education in Burundi has been severely impacted by political unrest and civil war, particularly between Tutsi and Hutu groups. This turmoil has led to significant disruptions in the education system, making it challenging to recruit teachers, especially in provincial areas affected by conflict. While enrollment rates have historically been low, there has been a recent increase, although female enrollment still lags behind that of males. The country faces severe teacher shortages and struggles to provide adequate educational resources.

Currently, Burundi’s literacy rate is just under 60%, and the country ranks 174 out of 182 on the Human Development Index. Compulsory education spans six years, from ages 7 to 13, with the government aiming to cover the costs of education up to grade six. Despite efforts to improve the situation, the education system in Burundi continues to face significant challenges due to the legacy of conflict and ongoing instability.

Investment in Education in Africa

12. Djibouti

Real GDP Growth Rate 2024: 6%

Real Per Capita GDP Growth Rate 2024: N/A

Djibouti was the 12th fastest-growing African economy in 2024. It is an East African country with a real GDP growth rate of 6% in 2024. 

Education in Djibouti

Djibouti’s education system has been historically deficient, primarily benefiting the elite and heavily influenced by the French educational model. The country currently grapples with high levels of illiteracy, estimated at approximately 70-85%. While education is costly, there is a growing demand for better-quality educational opportunities.

In response to these challenges, Djibouti has implemented a restructured education system that spans nine compulsory years. This includes five years of primary education followed by four years of middle education. To progress to the three-year secondary educational phase, students are required to obtain a Certificate of Fundamental Education. These measures represent ongoing efforts to enhance the quality and accessibility of education in Djibouti.

Investment in Education in Africa

13. Uganda

Real GDP Growth Rate 2024: 5.7%

Real Per Capita GDP Growth Rate 2024: 2.7%

Ranking 13th on our list of fastest-growing African economies in 2024 is Uganda. It is an East African country with a real GDP growth rate of 5.7% and a real GDP per capita growth rate of 2.7%. 

Education in Uganda

In Uganda, the current school education system is structured into three levels with different durations:

  1. Elementary education: Spanning seven years (age 6–13)
  2. Lower secondary education: Comprising four years (age 14–17)
  3. Upper secondary education: Lasting two years (age 17-19)

Elementary education is the sole compulsory level in Uganda, mandated for all Ugandan children aged 6 to 13, and is provided free of charge.

The Ugandan government acknowledges education as a fundamental human right and endeavors to offer free primary education to all children across the nation. However, challenges persist due to issues such as funding constraints, inadequate teacher training, the dispersion of rural populations, and substandard educational facilities, impeding the advancement of educational progress.

Despite government initiatives aimed at bridging educational disparities, girls face notable discrimination in accessing education. They encounter greater obstacles compared to boys, resulting in the disenfranchisement of the female population despite ongoing efforts to narrow the gender gap.

Education in Uganda is conducted in English, and the academic year typically runs from February to December.

Investment in Education in Africa

14. Guinea

Real GDP Growth Rate 2024: 5.6%

Real Per Capita GDP Growth Rate 2024: 3%

Guinea is another West African country bordering the Atlantic Ocean. Guinea is an emerging economy that ranks 14th on our list of fastest-growing African economies in 2024. It has a real GDP growth rate of 5.6% and a real GDP per capita growth rate of 3%. 

Education in Guinea

Guinea’s education system is rooted in the French model, with French remaining the language of instruction even after gaining independence. Education is both free and mandatory for children aged 7 to 13, yet approximately only half of the children of this age group attend primary school.

Upon completing primary education, students receive the Certificat d’Études Primaires Élémentaires (CEPE), or Certificate of Primary Elementary Studies. While some students proceed to lower secondary school, the enrollment rate is relatively low. Those who continue seek the Brevet d’Études du Premier Cycle certificate.

Completing upper secondary education requires substantial support and financial resources. Successful students must pass the Baccalauréat Deuxième Partie examinations.

Investment in Education in Africa

15. Togo

Real GDP Growth Rate 2024: 5.3%

Real Per Capita GDP Growth Rate 2024: 2.8%

Togo ranked as the 15th fastest-growing African economy in 2024. It is a West African country with a real GDP growth rate of 5.3% and a real GDP per capita growth rate of 2.8%.

Education in Toga

In Togo, primary education is mandatory and provided free of charge, mirroring the French education system due to the country’s colonial history. Children typically start primary school at age six and attend for six years. Prior to 2008, public school fees posed barriers for impoverished families, but efforts led by UNICEF and the Togolese government abolished these fees. As of 2017, Togo’s net primary school enrollment rate reached 90%, although approximately 10% of children still lack access to basic education.

However, secondary education enrollment rates remain low. Secondary education follows primary schooling and consists of two cycles totalling seven years, starting at age 12. Facilities are limited in rural areas but more abundant in the capital city of Lomé, where higher-quality private schools are concentrated. The curriculum aligns closely with that of France.

Despite improvements, only 4% of eligible children were enrolled in secondary education in 2017, compared to 23.53% in 2000. Challenges such as expensive secondary school fees, inadequate primary education quality, and limited access to schooling in rural regions contribute to the significant enrollment gap between primary and secondary levels.

Moreover, Togo faces a gender disparity in education, with 10% fewer girls enrolled at every level except pre-primary. Early or forced marriages often force girls to leave school prematurely. International organizations like Girls Not Brides are actively working in Togo to combat child, early, and forced marriages, aligning with Togo’s commitment to ending such practices by 2030.

Investment in Education in Africa

Quality education that better enables graduates to find places in colleges and universities, both locally and abroad, is a key factor in why an increasing number of local families are sending their children to private and international schools. We expect that many countries across Africa will have increased demand over the next decade.

GSE has previously operated, or currently operates projects, in the following locations:

India, China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand, East Timor, Mongolia, Myanmar, South Korea, Saudi Arabia (KSA), UAE, Equatorial Guinea, Zambia, Kenya, Libya, Bahrain, Iraq, Japan, Indonesia, Australia, USA

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GSE set up schools in all areas of the world

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CEO and Education Expert Greg Parry

Greg Parry

Internationally renowned for his expertise in education leadership and Leading with impact, Greg Parry’s vast experience includes leadership of projects for education institutions throughout Australia, the Middle East, the United States, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and China. Recognised for his numerous contributions in the education arena, Greg has received the Minister’s Award for Excellence in School Leadership based on improvements in school performance and a range of successful principal training and leadership development programs, as well as the School of Excellence Award for Industry/School Partnerships and the School of Excellence Award for Technology Innovation. His company GSE (Global Services in Education) has been recognised as having the Best Global Brand in International Education in 2015 and 2016.

Considered one of the premier experts in his profession, Greg has trained teachers and principals worldwide in areas such as critical thinking, language development and leadership. His expertise in school start-up projects, leadership and curriculum development has made him a sought-after authority in this discipline.

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Global Services in Education set up and operate schools in all parts of the world. Governed by a philosophy of global citizenship, every member of the GSE team shares a passion to help shape international education and student achievement through inspiration and collaboration.
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