Before Africa was colonised by various European countries, the natives enjoyed peace, serenity and a cultural way of life. There were no sky scrapers, taxes or desk jobs. People would do activities based on their current needs in the thought that future provisions were not necessary. The mild African climate allowed crops to grow year round, trees to always bear fruit and livestock to always have ample water to survive. Living for today was all that was required, so the insight to make provisions for the future was not requisite.
In Europe there are times of the year where it is too cold or dry for any fruits to grow or livestock to be out in the fields. People understood this and ensured that as much farming could be done as possible in the warmer periods to certify there was enough food for the winter periods. This need for intense farming stimulated creativity to develop new machinery or paddocks for animals to live in. The provision for future periods was the basis of growth and development for all aspects of life.
Larger fishing vessels were developed to venture deeper into the ocean, farming equipment become more specialised and intensified and storage units were refined to house the harvests for long periods of time. This was, in its simplest form, saving for the future.
Education is the bases for growth and development in any country. A country with a high literacy rate benefits from lower reproduction rates and a faster developing economy. As the west entered Africa, they brought with them a set of skills required to improve the current livelihood of people. Building of houses, formal farming methods and more sustainable ways to use our finite resources were taught to the locals to establish a more stable way of life. Learning to read and write, making informed decisions and to effectively invest and improve their current lives were skills that were not developed by the locals, as the current way of life involved little more than providing for their current needs.
As the world became a global village and external forces influenced the direct lives of the people in Africa, the need for education became a principal requirement, higher literacy rates were beneficial to countries that tried to pin their economy in line with the global growth. Countries with low literacy rates are reliant on external resources to provide for them, specialised skills are borrowed from other countries and growth is dictated through aid received from developed countries.
If countries are to utilise their human capital function in a way that promotes growth and development, builds sustainable infrastructure and have a citizen base of intellectual individuals, then the education systems need to be focused on in a more concentrated manner. The ripple effect of an educated population will bring about resourcefulness, independence and alternative troubleshooting than the violence seen by many nations. Investing in the minds of individuals evokes the stimulus to become an economic leader, enabling a sustainable future for its inhabitants.