Pan African Connection
Bringing Literacy, Education and Development to disadvantaged communities across Africa
There are many efforts underway in Africa to tap its vast mineral resources, although dozens of these
projects have been put on an indefinite hold because of the global financial crisis. So the richness of
Africa that should provide jobs waits to be fully tapped.
The human capital is also going untapped. Anywhere from about 60% to 80% of a given country’s
population lives in rural communities, which are the ones that face the most difficult conditions in
education, communications, job prospects and health challenges.
It has been noted elsewhere on this website that there is quick uptake of ways and means that bring
people material comfort or leisure/entertainment. This is not a condition native to Africa; if you travel the
world over, as soon as communications, radio or television and cellular is made available, the
subscriber base shoots upward rather rapidly. It is the same but slower, the uptake of the Internet. For
instance, there are now more total users of the Internet in China than the United States, although the per
capita income is very widely apart.
We have also noted that the strengthening of the official languages (mainly English across Southern
Africa and other languages in other parts) is part of economic integration and for the easier ascension to
the global economy and free trade. This does not mean that native languages should be discarded.
Many people in various countries successfully move competently as native speakers in two or more
languages. Unfortunately, in many parts of Africa not enough skills have been thought to allow for fluency
in the official language.
The mother’s tongue becomes by default the dominant language; observation is made that attribution
can partly be made to the lateness in starting formal schooling, insufficient language skill training,
distance from urban centers (where the official language has a higher use profile) lack of
communications outside of their local community and slower uptake of the official language.
It should be noted once again that the case is presented that driving the need for clear official language
skills is ECONOMICS. Education and skills learned in the rural communities needs to have equivalency
in real terms to urban schooling and needs to have the portability to be accepted and used anywhere in
the country of residence.
As we move into the future the greatest resource for Africa is going to be its young people, so the path
that can be set today towards that reality is education, training and marketable skills, or the opposite
effect of uneducated, no training and no portable skills may prevail. The first set leads to the creation of
jobs and ways of living, the second to masses of uneducated and unskilled workers.
It is evident under the discussions taken on this website that the way forward needs to be outlined today,
for the masses of people in under-developed rural Africa. Pan-African Connection is seeking to provide
exactly the skills needed by young people; this work ought to start rather soon.