The Role of Education in the Challenge of Underdevelopment Syndrome of Africa: A Lesson from the Orient


  • Teklehaimanot Haileselassie Ph.D, Vice Minister, Ministry of Education


Ironically, equity is preached more now than ever before while the
gap between the rich and poor countries 1nd rich and poor people is
widening. This, in blunt terms, means ┬Ěthe rich are getting richer while
the poor are getting poorer. The rich, 20% 0f the World's population ,
own a share of world's income, that is, 74 times that of the poor; this
was only 30 times in 1960. In other terms, the extreme disparities in
global opportunities between the haves and the have-nots is depicted
by the World Bank which compared the shares of World GOP. In
1997 the richest (20%) had 86% of the World GOP while the poorest
had only 1% of the GOP. (UNOP: 1999)
The poor countries are not only poorer than decades ago but they are
also indebted now more than in the past. Many of the poorest
countries dispense more for payment of debt than for the basic social
services that are in dire need. Paradoxically enough in this era of
tremendous growth of wealth of the globalizing World the official
development assistance of the richer countries to the poorer nations
has shown an alarming decline in the nineties of the past century.
This means the rich are'getting richer and parsimonious at the same
time while the poor are getting more and more impoverished.
(UNESCO: 2000)