WP109: The limited impacts of formal education on democratic citizenship in Africa

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Working papers
2009
109
Mattes, Robert and Dangalira Mughogho

Africa is the poorest and most underdeveloped continent in the world. Among many political and social consequences, poverty and the lack of infrastructure place significant limitations on the cognitive skills of ordinary Africans, and thus their ability to act as full democratic citizens. Along with limited access to news media, the extremely low levels of formal education found in many African countries strike at the very core of the skills and information that enable citizens to assess social, economic and political developments, learn the rules of government, form opinions about political performance, and care about the survival of democracy.