Below is the ranking of African countries by the literacy rate. This entry includes a definition of literacy and Census Bureau percentages for the total population, males, and females. There are no universal definitions and standards of literacy. Unless otherwise specified, all rates are based on the most common definition – the ability to read and write at a specified age (15 and above). Detailing the standards that individual countries use to assess the ability to read and write is beyond the scope of this article.
Information on literacy, while not a perfect measure of educational results, is probably the most easily available and valid for international comparisons. It is impossible to overstate the importance of education especially in Africa. Low levels of literacy, and education in general, can impede the economic development of a country in the current rapidly changing, technology-driven world.
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