Top 10 Africa literacy standings
1. Equatorial Guinea @ 95%
Released earlier this year, UNESCO’s annual Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2013/14, entitled Teaching and Learning: Achieving quality for all, ranks Equatorial Guinea above all other countries in sub-Saharan Africa in terms of literacy rates. The data suggests that Equatorial Guinea has a 95% literacy rate, with that rate even higher among younger demographics (reaching 98% for those 15-24 years of age).
It also discusses the positive developments in education that Equatorial Guinea has seen in recent years. The country is among those who will achieve a rate of 95% or more in gender equality in primary education by 2015, showing significant progress in this area. Further to this, it is estimated that Equatorial Guinea will see a preschool enrolment greater than or equal to 70% by 2015. UNESCO issued recommendations to increase the number of teaching staff, as well as to improve the training of current staff.
2. Zimbabwe @ 93%
The Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency’s labour force survey estimated that 93% of people over 15 were literate in 2015. This figure is based on the percentage of people in this age group that had completed grade three of schooling.
The country’s 2011 Demographic and Health Survey estimated that 96% of men aged 15 to 54 and 94% of women aged 15 to 49 were literate. This figure was calculated from a nationally representative household survey but it only applied to certain age groups.
Respondents were considered literate if they had attended secondary school (generally aged 15 and older) or could read a whole sentence or part of a sentence in a reading test.
3. South Africa (93%)
In South Africa, government has launched the Kha Ri Gude Mass Literacy Campaign in February 2008, with the intention of enabling 4,7 million adults above the age of 15 years to become literate and numerate in one of the eleven official languages. Achieving this goal will enable South Africa to reach its UN: Education For All commitment made at Dakar in 2000 – that of halving the country’s illiteracy rates by 2015.
Initiated and managed by the Department of Education, Kha Ri Gude delivers across all nine provinces in a massive logistical outreach. The campaign enables adult learners to read, write and calculate in their mother tongue in line with the Unit Standards for ABET level 1, and also to learn spoken English.
4. Seychelles (92.7%)
About 92.7% of the adult population is literate, and the literacy rate of school-aged children has risen to well over 98%. Increases are expected, as nearly all children of primary school age attend school, and the government encourages adult education.
5. Gabon (91.9%)
Adult literacy rate is the percentage of people ages 15 and above who can, with understanding, read and write a short, simple statement on their everyday life.
6. Mauritius (89.8%)
The adult literacy rate for both sexes was estimated at 89.8% according to the census made by Statistics Mauritius. Male literacy were 92.3% and Female 87.3%. The government expenditure on education was estimated at about Rs 11,709 million, representing 12.5% of total expenditure.
7. Kenya 87.9%
This entry includes a definition of literacy and Census Bureau percentages for the total population, males, and females. There are no universal definitions and standards of literacy. Unless otherwise specified, all rates are based on the most common definition – the ability to read and write at a specified age. Detailing the standards that individual countries use to assess the ability to read and write is beyond the scope of the Factbook. Information on literacy, while not a perfect measure of educational results, is probably the most easily available and valid for international comparisons. Low levels of literacy, and education in general, can impede the economic development of a country in the current rapidly changing, technology-driven world.
8. Swaziland (87.8%)
In Swaziland the adult literacy rate is 90% in urban areas compared to 78.3% in rural areas. Swaziland is experiencing a growing problem of unemployment, which is currently estimated at 23 percent of the economically active population, and much higher among the youth.
9. Botswana (87.1%)
Botswana like other countries of the world is committed to offering education for all its citizens. The commitment has resulted in the improvement and provision of national literacy programmes through out of school education and training initiatives. This commitment has resulted in improved adult (15-65 years) literacy rate over the past three decades; from 68.9 percent in 1993 to 81.2 percent in 2003 and 88.6 percent in 2014.
10. Burundi (86.9%)
he organization overseeing literacy in Burundi is the Literacy Department, established by ministerial order on 15 May 1991. Its main aim is to provide young people and adults with little or no literacy skills with suitable training designed to meet their basic educational needs, while also reducing the overall illiteracy rate. This includes helping them to acquire reading, writing, numeracy and self-development skills as well as encouraging the newly literate and current learners to form community self-promotion groups which permit the learners to develop on an individual level as well as a group level keeping in mind the context and environment.
The focus is not only on obtaining initial literacy skills, but also on maintaining them and developing them further. Literacy training themes focus on local issues and everyday living with an emphasis on shouldering responsibilities and developing local income-generating activities.
The Literacy Department is divided into four different units, each caring for a different aspect of the programme. It is structured in the following way:
All data collected from various sources.