Africa

11 African Countries with Highest Literacy Rates

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As tourists and foreigners visiting Africa, language, civilization and religion are often barriers. If you agree with me, you’d want to take note of some of these African countries literacy rates.

Whichever part of the world you intend traveling to, expect a higher literacy level among youths (between the ages 15 and 24) than adults (of over 15 years of age). A recent report on this subject suggests that 91% of youths could read and write (or calculate) compared to 85% of adults. These figures are more pronounced in South Asia, Sub Saharan Africa and the Middle East.

Literacy rates in the long run suggest a standard of sustenance, health, nutrition and education, and the effectiveness of respective education systems in the following African countries.

Seychellois are sophisticated

African countries literacy rates.

Nursery school children having fun at break time on the Grand Anse Beach. Image Credit: Henning Leweke

They are among the most literate sets of people in the world. An estimated 99% of school-age children from the Indian Ocean Islands nation are skilled in assimilation of simple statements and numbers. Unlike their children, the older population never had access to schools during childhood, but benefits from adult education classes.

South Africa – stronghold of African countries literacy

 African countries literacy rates.

The IBM opened its second research lab on African soil in the Johannesburg district of Braamfontein just last month. Image Credit: IBM Research

Adult literacy rate in South Africa stands at 93%. Knowledgeable South African grownups are rate even more than Turkish and Jordanian. The numbers of educated men ranked more than women by 2%. An impressive 99% of their youths are literate though the country has had to deal with criminal activities in some parts.

Tunisians reap from a functional government

African countries literacy rates.

Holiday time. A time to get a life away from school. Image Credit: Amine Ghrabi

Their position couldn’t have come as a surprise. The Tunisian government has long given priority to education (at all levels). Children are taught basic Tunisian Arabic at a very tender age. They go on to learn to read and write in Standard Arabic and also get a grasp of French and English languages along the line.

Swaziland mirror the true Africa

African countries literacy rates.

Performers at the Swazi cultural village. Image Credit: Timo

Pre-school education and non-formal learning are structured to augment the learning institutions of Swaziland. There has also been improvement in gender parity among the literate youths as more male children are returning to the classroom.

Egypt the bedrock of civilisation

African countries literacy rates.

How do you set these pyramids up and expect to raise descendants of fools? No Way! Image Credit: Vincent Brown

Since 1996, illiteracy rate in Egypt has decreased. An estimated 88% and 72% of her respective youths and adults are thought to be literate. Most Arab education system are influenced by the Egyptian curriculum. But outsourcing of Egyptian teachers has dealt repercussions on public education in the country in the form of 91% male to 84% female gender disparity and poor teacher to student ratios.

Uganda is toppling the African countries literacy rates

 African countries literacy rates.

Makerere University: The pride of Ugandan education. Image Credit: Rajah Siwale

An estimated 87% of Ugandan youths are literate while 73% of their adults could also show some level of literacy and numeracy. The Makerere University recently emerged as the only institution outside South Africa to make the top five list of Best Universities in Africa .

Ghana have more classrooms than ghettos

African countries literacy rates.

University of Ghana students laugh during a class session. Image Credit: Dominc Chavez/ World Bank Photo Collection

Youth literacy in Ghana is gauged at an incredible 86%. An estimated 71% of Ghanaian adults are believed to be literate. The figures are justifiably so judging by the high school enrollment rate in the West African country. Even graduates of its vocational learning system are gaining worldwide acceptance in their respective trades. They are also earning a humble livelihood.

Cameroonians are well-informed

African countries literacy rates.

If they stand up a man with a stick standing just out of the frame will swat them. Image Credit: R. Baird Cam

They employ a system that combines English and French learning materials. Public schools are readily available, helping not less than 84% of her youth afford some form of literacy. Pegged at 76% – 85% female to male, classroom gender equality is low due to local custom, child harassment and early marriage.

Rwandans can’t be deceived again

African countries literacy rates.

Rwandan minibus driver can’t hide his allegiance to Arsenal FC football club. Image Credit: Adam Cohn.

Rwandan government provide free-education in state-run schools for up to 12 years. Parents are expected to contribute to the upkeep of the school environment. As at 2010, 66% of Rwandans aged 15 or over were said to be literate. There are many private schools in Rwanda, others are missionary’s.

Tanzanians have come a long way

African countries literacy rates.

Nema Obeti tending to her coffee plant. Image Credit: Georgina Smith / CIAT.

Adult literacy rate in Tanzania is estimated to be 68%. An estimated 80% of school-going children completed their primary school education as at 2012. Education in Tanzania is compulsory until a child reaches 15 years of age.

Malawi “oh-my! allow we”

African countries literacy rates.

Fresh fried potatoes at a market stall in Souther Malawi, Africa. Image Credit: Christine Birr

Few students go on to complete tertiary education in Malawi – the high dropout rate is more prevalent among girls than boys. The gender literacy disparity in Malawi is estimated at 70% females to 74% male, with 72% of her youth population between ages 15-24 literate.

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