LUSAKA, March 14 (Xinhua) -- Poverty levels have remained high in many African countries because a significant number of people on the continent remain illiterate, a development expert said on Thursday.
Haggai Kanenga, a lecturer at the University of Zambia specialized in International Trade Policy, said that poverty conditions currently prevailing in most African countries are as a result of poor investment in key sectors such as education.
Kanenga explained that development has stalled in the many African nations because the majority of the populations lack knowledge and skills to fully participate in development processes.
"China is a classic example of what investing in education can do to a country. Its huge investments in the education sector have paid off in that it has managed to lift a lot of its people of out of poverty," Kanenga said.
He further pointed out that education in itself has the potential to attract meaningful investment, saying that it becomes difficult to get certain investments when certain skills are lacking in an area.
This is particularly true for professional skills, he added. Kanenga implored African leaders to be committed to improving the welfare of the people and suggested that they take a leaf from China and other Asian countries.
"Their governance system and style is working very well for them. They have had impressive economic growth and substantial poverty reduction and are doing well on almost all parameters. This has a lot to do with leadership and the kind of institutions that are in place in these countries," he explained.