Why should Africa matter to educators in the Western world? Here are a few facts that you might want to consider, courtesy of our good friends at TED, the Global Fund, and the United Nations.
- By 2050, Africa will be twice the population of China and home to one-third of the youth of the world.
- 10 million people have had their lives saved from near certain death from anti-viral medications provided from The Global Fund, Product (RED) revenue, and the collective efforts of the One campaign.
- There are 2.65 million fewer deaths of children under five - per year - when compared to the year 2000. That is 7256 fewer children dying each day.
- 10 nations in sub saharan Africa - Cameroon, Senegal, Guinea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Niger, Mauritania, Mozambique, Burkina Faso, and Uganda - have had 100% of cancellation of debt, a ten-fold increase of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), and a tripling in domestic aid in the last decade. The result has cut childhood mortality by a third, doubled education completion rates, and cut the percentage of their population living in extreme poverty by half.
- Africa is generally pro-Western world and has high affinity for American values, such as entrepreneurial business, democracy, and social justice.
- Most recent economic impact studies continue to demonstrate that the bulk of the world's natural resources reside in Africa and have yet to be truly unleashed to improve the plight of African people.
- The global fight on terror will increasingly be waged in Africa.
The numbers are startling. Death rates are down. Education completion is up. Foreign investment is on the rise. Debt cancellation is common. The percentage of people living in extreme poverty has been halved since 2000. The world's greatest natural resources - and pro-Western views - reside in Africa.
Educators - let's pay attention to Africa. In your curriculum, language and culture studies, in your outreach and recruitment, and in your strategic thinking. This shift is happening fast.