The Importance of Education on Free and Fair Voting in Sub- Saharan Africa

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. John Yelding and Professor Yolanda Vega

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According to the international charity organization Free the Children, 58 million primary school-aged children in the world are not in school. In sub-Saharan Africa, more than 21 million adolescents were not in school in 2007, equivalent to 38% of the lower secondary school age group. Of the 925 million people in Sub- Saharan Africa, only 12% are free. These statistics persuaded us to study just how strong of an impact education has on democracy, freedom, and political participation in Angola, Kenya, and South Africa. We studied the primary school education rates, examined political participation rates, and performed interviews to further our understanding. We found that education is critically important for maintaining freedom and democracy, and it is extremely important to support education in these countries.

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