Chapter 4.4

Health, education and social protection

Click here to download the full draft (as at January 2017, PDF, 1.3 MB).

Where are we now? Where do we want to go?

One of the central elements of public welfare system services is to provide citizens with health care, education and social protection. African states must live up to that responsibility.

But in Africa, there is a lack of infrastructure, facilities and equipment and, above all, skilled professionals and administrative staff to provide education and basic health care services. Too many children still cannot read or write when they leave school, and girls in particular drop out of school too often. Education is key for developing the future. Family planning, a decrease in child mortality rates and education opportunities are essential in curbing population growth.

These sectors are also important economic factors and provide jobs for millions of people. Innovative digital solutions are economically attractive and make it possible to provide education and health care (such as e-health solutions) to people living in remote areas. In addition, Africa needs well-functioning social protection systems. They directly help to reduce poverty and inequality and allow people to realise their productive potential. More than three in four people in Africa still have no social protection.

Our goal is an Africa that "will be amongst the best performers in global quality of life measures," for instance through the provision of basic services in the areas of education and health, and whose  "human capital will be fully developed as its most precious resource". (Agenda 2063)

In many countries, pupils have to share books.
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In many countries, pupils have to share books.

What needs to happen?


  • Make available sufficient funding for education (15 to 20 per cent of national budgets) and health (15 per cent) and ensure access for women and girls; finally implement the NEPAD strategy for education and health
  • Improve education systems (especially administration, teacher training, building of schools)
  • Make sure that higher education reflects the needs and demands of the labour market
  • Introduce dual vocational training systems and establish vocational training schemes for crafts and trades
  • Ensure early and comprehensive sex education
  • Scale up investments in social protection and establish comprehensive social protection systems, which may include social transfers and employment measures


  • Use the opportunities offered by digitalisation for education (e.g. open license learning and teaching materials, e-learning, massive open online courses)
  • Significantly intensify economic cooperation with Africa and the number of scholarships available with the goal of mutual learning
  • Enlarge BMZ initiatives for the training of skilled health workers and training on family planning and maternal health
  • Realise 500 clinic partnerships in collaboration with the business sector
  • Expand innovative solutions for social protection with the private financial and insurance sector
  • Support the private sector in the field of risk coverage
  • Develop reinsurance options for social protection systems and make available start-up financing
  • Leverage partner countries' loans and own funds for social protection


  • Strengthen the Global Partnership for Education so as to promote effective coordination and place a greater emphasis on basic education in the poorest countries
  • Promote digital education for women and girls and also relevant job opportunities and move this issue forward within the G20 (#Eskills4girls initiative)
  • Increase member states' assessed contributions to the WHO by at least 10 per cent
  • Ensure that international pharmaceutical groups charge fair prices for essential drugs
  • Develop and expand innovative approaches for the health sector in collaboration with the private sector
  • Recognise more clearly within the G20 the importance of social protection systems as instruments to cushion the effects of crises in developing countries (economy, migration, climate) and implement the recommendations of the G20 on that issue

continue to Chapter 5

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