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With a population exceeding 27 million people, Madagascar is one of the most populous countries in Africa but it has a very low life expectancy at birth of only 64.48years. With the recent rise in births, statistics show that 39 percent of the population of Madagascar is now under the age of 14 and 27 percent between the ages of 15-29. The median age of the country is only 20.3 years.  While this youthful demographic presents immense potential as a driving force for economic growth and development, it also poses significant challenges, particularly in the areas of education and literacy.


Education is a cornerstone of development, yet Madagascar grapples with low literacy rates and limited access to quality education. Because of this, many Malagasy individuals are unable to acquire the skills and knowledge needed to secure gainful employment or pursue higher education. This perpetuates a cycle of poverty and inequality, as individuals are unable to escape the constraints of low-wage and informal employment sectors.


Over 28percent of Malagasies over the age of three have no formal education, while only 44.4 percent have only complemented primary education. University-level education lags even more at only 2.8 percent of the population. This figure falls far below the global average and highlights significant gaps in educational attainment.


Years of schooling are positively correlated with income. This mismatch between educational attainment and labor market demands exacerbates unemployment and underemployment rates, particularly among youth and marginalized communities. Addressing these challenges requires investments in education infrastructure, teacher training, and vocational skills development programs, as well as efforts to promote inclusive economic growth and job creation initiatives that align with the needs of the labor market.


Due to inadequate wages, many senior citizens in Madagascar are unable to retire and must continue working to support themselves financially. Additionally, the highbirth rate exacerbates financial strain on families, making it difficult forthem to meet their basic needs. As a result, some families are forced to relyon child labor as a means of supplementing household income. This perpetuates acycle of poverty and deprives young children of their right to education,exacerbating the issue of child labor in the country.


By prioritizing education and literacy, Madagascar can harness the talent sand potential of its young population, driving economic growth, social development, and cultural enrichment for generations to come, thus paving the way for a brighter future where all individuals have the opportunity to reach their full potential. It is discerning to see that a child born in Madagascar will only reach 39 percent of their potential productivity as an adult! Change is much needed, and it is needed now!