oa Malawi Journal of Development Education - Toward sustainable development in Africa: An argument for agrarian and educational reform

Volume 1, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1729-0783



Despite the climate of economic and political uncertainty that pervades most African countries, there is an urgent need for governments to incorporate environmental policies with efforts to liberalize markets and reform political systems and institutions. Agriculture must be the main engine of future sustainable development and, as a consequence, the role of education must be modified to reflect this new imperative. Human capital theory impels cash-strapped governments to expand education, a situation which contrasts radically with the need to moderate and manage the demand for education suggested here. At the same time, the income-earning options of smallholder fanners who make up the majority of the agricultural production system must be increased. This will have the effect of mitigating the pressure on families to send their children to school, thus reducing overall demand. Within this context, there is a variety of ways to reconfigure the formal and nonformal education sectors as a means to improve the livelihood of smallholder farmers, thus bringing about a more appropriate correspondence between education and the economy.

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