This World Bank report examines higher education in Sub-Saharan Africa, asking how it can stimulate economic growth in the region. Drawing on international experience and regional case studies, the authors argue that there is an urgent need for countries in Sub-Saharan Africa to invest in human capital and knowledge — and therefore higher education — to create a viable and growth-promoting industrial system, and cope with threats such as disease, population growth and climate change.

They discuss how and why human capital investment can lead to socioeconomic growth and review current practices in Sub-Saharan Africa. The authors propose a number of good practices to help countries in the region strengthen their higher education systems quickly and effectively.

Recommendations include developing a national strategy for developing human resources, reforming funding mechanisms for higher education, giving institutions decision-making powers, encouraging diversity and developing postgraduate programs to boost local research capacity.