Illiteracy is Africa's most virulent disease. It is reported that 42 million children in Africa do not have access to primary school education, of which 60% are girls. You have countries like Cameroon, Sierra Leone and Mali with illiteracy rates of 32.1%, 59.1% and 53.6% respectively. Lack of access to quality education is preventing millions of people all over Africa from escaping the cycle of extreme poverty. Most of the children who are out of school are amongst the poorest and hardest to reach. Most of these children are living in countries in conflict and in rural areas. Many of the children who do enroll in school are not graduating with even the most basic reading, writing and math skills, often because their schools do not have enough teachers, books or facilities to provide a quality education. While many countries have opened school doors for millions in recent years by eliminating school fees, other costs such as uniforms and testing still prevent children from enrolling.
Improving the literacy rate in Africa will reduce the poverty rate, increase agricultural productivity and improve the quality of health. The disease burden of most communicable diseases will greatly reduce. Indirectly the crime rate will be reduced due to the meaningful occupation of otherwise street children in educational institutions. Child labor will be controlled as children are given the opportunity to learn and develop their future careers.