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Working Paper 88 - Growing a Knowledge - Based Economy: Evidence from Public Expenditure on Education in Africa


Achieving economic growth in Africa has been one of the most daunting challenges in the last decades. Since the 1980s, growth on the continent had been elusive, with economic stagnation and retardation becoming the defining characteristics for most countries (Kempe, 1997). Concerted efforts by international development financiers and donors, including Multilateral Financial Institutions (MFIs) did not make significant headway in reviving African economies, despite the experimentation of several development models and approaches, most of which emphasized structural reforms (UNCTAD, 2003). The 1990s saw a significant shift in Africa’s development paradigm, with increasing attention being given to Africa’s participation in its own development planning, ownership of its own development initiatives, capacity building of African professionals, knowledge management and improved governance among others (AEO, 2002).

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