IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


The problem of education and development in sub-Saharan Africa

08 November 2017, 5:45 pm–7:00 pm

Professor Moses Oketch

African governments and donor partners have long regarded investment in education as being central to economic growth in the region - but this investment is yet to achieve rapid economic improvement. Why is that? And what should be done to better realise that goal?

Event Information

Open to



Kate Thomas


Jeffrey Hall
UCL Institute of Education
20 Bedford Way
United Kingdom

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In this lecture, Professor Oketch addresses the compelling narrative of human capital theory - the doctrine, underpinning public policy world-wide, that investment in education is instrumental for economic growth - and what we can learn from its application in sub-Saharan Africa.

In this, he draws on evidence from across different aspects of education policy, including (i) the provision of universal basic education, (ii) the focus on Technical Vocational Education and Training, and (iii) the financing of higher education.

He highlights the impediments to growth from wider factors in the region, not least rampant corruption and civil war, but also poor implementation of an otherwise necessary focus on building the skills-base. However commanding human capital theory is, he argues, it remains tacit if the actual implementation of policies isn't effective.

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About the Speaker

Moses Oketch

Professor of International Education Policy & Development, Co-Director of CEID at Centre for Education and International Development (CEID)

Professor Moses Oketch was educated in Kenya and the USA and runs the innovative Masters programme Education Planning, Economics and International Development at the UCL Institute of Education (IOE). He has published extensively on the implementation of education policies in the developing world, focussing mainly on sub-Saharan Africa, and commented widely in the media on issues relating to his research.

More about Moses Oketch