29. Selected readings on World Development:. Education and Life Expectancy in Africa 1980-2010

Map of Africa with by United Nations regional classification. Retrieved 17-05-29.

Source: https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%81frica.   Africa map regions.svg: LukeSurl (talk · contribs)

Free on line access to the the article at Vol. 16-2 of the journal Applied Econometrics and International Development 


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Life expectancy has increased in the majority of African countries for the period 1980-2014, with an average increase slightly higher than that of World average for that period. Due to the low starting values of year 1960, and to the slow increase of the period 1960-1980, many Sub-Saharan countries presented, in year 2014, low values of Life Expectancy in comparison with World average: 59 years in Sub-Saharan Africa and 71 as World average. Northern Africa has experienced a very positive evolution reaching World average in year 2014. 

    This article present some interesting econometric models to analyze the positive impact of education and development in the evolution of life expectancy of African countries, having into account that there are also other factors related with geography, social features, health assistance, sanitation infrastructures and other factors that also explain differences among countries. The estimated models present some specific and significant effects in several countries.

     We include an analysis of several causes of death, with adjusted rates particularly high in many Sub-Saharan countries, in comparison with the World average of the Age Specific Death Rate (ASDR). 

    Finally we call to support the initiatives for a kind of Marshall Plan for Africa, as those suggested many years ago by Angelopoulos and Klein and currently from some from European Union countries or other areas. The article concludes insisting on the main factors that might help to improve development, life expectancy and quality of life in Africa, and calling to foster international initiatives of cooperation in this regard.

The article includes the following tables of data:
Table 1.  Life Expectancy (Lex), Production per head and Education (Tyr) in 30 African countries, 1980-2014

Table 2. Life Expectancy (Lex), by gender, at birth 1960-2014 in  7 World areas

In this table appears the evolution of Life Expectancy, of Sub-Saharan Africa, and in other areas,  in comparison with World average for the period 1960-2014. There was 12 points of difference, between Sub-Saharan and World, both in year 1960 and 2014. There was an increase of 19 years of Life Expectancy, both at World level and in Sub-Saharan Africa for that period. Life expectancy increased from 52 years to 71 for World average during the period 1960-2014. In Sub-Saharan Africa Life expectancy increased from an average of 40 years to 59 years, in the period 1960-2014. 

                                                       Source: Elaborated from World Bank (2016)

Table 3. Annual death rates per 100 thousand people in 7 World areas: Crude Death Rates (CDR) and Specific (ASDR).

In this table appears the evolution of CDR and ASDR of Sub-Saharan Africa, and of other areas, Elaborated from WHO(2016). Major Areas accordingly to World Bank (WB) classification. CDR=Crude Death Rates (affected by age composition) and ASDR=Age Specific Death Rates (not affected by age composition). The anuual death rate, adjusted for age composition, in Sub-Saharan Africa in year 2015 was almost twice the World average, what means that there is much to do regarding prevention and health assistance in order to diminish annual deaths rates in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Table 4.Adjusted Rates of Death (ASDR) in year 2015: Comparison of Sub-Saharan Africa and World for 43 causes of death.

Table 5. Manufacturing (QMH), Investment (IH), Savings (SH) and Economic Development    in African areas and international comparisons2000-2010

Finally we insist on the great importance of fostering economic development in African areas and countries in order to solve many of the problems of health, in order to improve not only economic conditions but also education, health and quality of life.

International cooperation, helping to improve quality of life, is working well in many cases and it should be fostered in this regard.
Authors, Bloggers and Press related with African Development: We kindly appreciate citation of this interested article, both in academic journals and in blogs and news on economic policies for African Development.