Essay on Affect of Low Literacy Rates on Standard of Living in Africa

Essay on Affect of Low Literacy Rates on Standard of Living in Africa

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The rich prosper and the poor struggle to survive. Citizens in developed nations, such as Canada, do not usually think about developing African nations and their problems. Those fortunate enough to have a steady income cannot imagine how other developing countries or other people have so little when they possess so much. Thus, the question arises, what challenges are developing African countries experiencing as they struggle to improve their standards of living? In order, to answer this question, it is essential to consider the adult literacy rates, the population infected with diseases, and the debts of developing countries.
Through education, a person gains the crucial knowledge of how to read and write. However, the average adult literacy rate in Africa’s poorest country, Sierra Leone, is an astonishing 33.3%. This means that two-thirds of adults living in Sierra Leone do not possess the ability to read or write. Furthermore, the bottom ten countries in terms of adult literacy rate are all in Africa. Clearly, a lack of education is the center of the problem. Literacy is a fundamental skill that impacts an individual’s ability to succeed in society because it allows people to control their lives. Since all everyday activities involve either reading or writing, literacy opens up opportunities in life. Therefore a literate person will have more career opportunities to contribute to a country’s economy as a result of education. Thus, it is unsurprising that the bottom ten countries ranked in the 1998 U.N. Human Development Index are all in Africa. The U.N. Human Development Index measures living standards based on life expectancy, literacy, education, and economic output per capita. Unquestionably, there is a relationship betwe...

... middle of paper ... results in a low adult literacy rate. As literacy is critical for success in anything, the low adult literacy rate negatively impacts the living qualities and economy. The bad economy results in some African countries qualifying as Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC). Although some of the debts of HIPCs are relieved, governments still cannot provide essential services that are aimed at breaking the poverty cycle. Due to living in poverty, diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS are prevalent. These diseases amount to the loss of millions of lives. As the population of able body workers fall, the production of goods is decreased which negatively affects the economy. If developing countries do not receive more forms of aid from developed countries, there is no telling how long it will take for African to improve their standards of living.

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