Journal of the Knowledge Economy

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 126–146 | Cite as

Foreign Aid, Education and Lifelong Learning in Africa

  • Simplice A. AsonguEmail author
  • Vanessa S. Tchamyou


This study investigates the effect of foreign aid on education and lifelong learning in 53 African countries for the period 1996–2010. Three main issues are assessed, notably: (i) the effect of aid on education; (ii) the incremental impact of aid on education and (iii) the effect of aid on lifelong learning. Lifelong learning is measured as the combined knowledge acquired during the primary, secondary and tertiary levels of education. Foreign aid dynamics include total aid, aid from multilateral donors (MD) and aid from the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) countries. The empirical evidence is based on an endogeneity-robust generalized method of moments. The following findings are established. First, the aid variables have positive effects on primary school enrolment and lifelong learning, with the exception of aid from MD which positively affects only lifelong learning. Second, the positive effect on primary school enrolment consistently has a higher magnitude compared to the corresponding impact on lifelong learning. Third, the effects of aid dynamics on secondary and tertiary school enrolments are not significant. We also contribute to the literature by proposing an indicator of lifelong learning for developing countries.


Lifelong learning Foreign aid Development Africa 

JEL Classification

I20 I28 F35 O55 P16 


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.African Governance and Development InstituteYaoundéCameroon
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsUniversity of South AfricaPretoriaSouth Africa
  3. 3.Faculty of Applied EconomicsUniversity of AntwerpAntwerpBelgium

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