On a continent where democratic power transfer is commonly afflicted by conflict, election fraud and coups; Senegal managed a peaceful political transition when the country’s socialist party’s power ended as the result of elections held in the year 2000. EAC and partner BuildOn are working together to increase access to quality primary education.

source(s): UNESCO EFA Global Monitoring Report 2013/14

Main barriers to education

  • Poverty
  • Poor Infrastructure
  • Gender
  • Early Marriage
  • Long distance to school
  • Low quality of education

Despite a high rate of unemployment and widespread poverty, Senegal is one of the West Africa’s most stable economies according to the BBC (2014).  Having had just four presidents since 1960, Senegal has a history of peaceful political participation and as recently as the year 2000 it’s first, and of course peaceful, democratic transition.  Furthermore, according to the World Bank, “The 2012 elections were the first to feature two female candidates, and were characterized by a high degree of transparency and universal acceptance of the results.”

The economy in this country is expected to grow at a rate of 4.5% in 2014 according to the World Bank.  Whilst reasonable growth is expected, Senegal has not benefited from the same rapid growth that many other sub-Saharan African countries have achieved over the past decade, and it remains vulnerable to low rainfall due to its reliance on agriculture as its main source of employment.  Senegal relies on construction and the services sector as its main drivers of economic growth. 

Further challenging healthy economic growth, however, is the threat of other external factors such as the possibility of Ebola.  In addition, according to the CIA World Factbook, “The economy continues to suffer from unreliable power supplies and rising costs of living, which has led to public protests and high unemployment and has prompted migrants to flee Senegal in search of better job opportunities in Europe”

The UN states that approximately 61% of women in Senegal lack basic literacy skills.  Primary enrolment in Senegal stood at 72% for boys and 74% for girls in 2012 according to UNESCO; however the dropout rate is significant, particularly for girls, as at secondary, the rate of enrolment for girls falls to around 25%.

According to the World Bank, “A majority of the Millennium Development Goals will not be achieved.”



Remote Rural Schools Construction

The Remote Rural Schools Construction project aims to inspire, partner with, and train more than 78,000 parents in rural and isolated villages in past (buildOn) and future project locations to be active participants in improving the quality of, and access to, education for 43,056 OOSC and 117,264 children at-risk of dropping out of primary school.
Towards a Universal Access for Vulnerable Girls and Boys to a Quality Primary Education

Towards a Universal Access for Vulnerable Girls and Boys to a Quality Primary Education

In developing countries, disability tends to be linked with poverty and hinders access to education. It is estimated that 90 per cent of children with disabilities (CwDs) are not schooled. According to UNICEF reporting being identified as disabled has a significant influence on the likelihood of education exclusion in West and Central Africa.



For more than two decades, buildOn has partnered with local governments and mobilized rural villages in some of the poorest countries on the planet to build more than 618 schools in Haiti, Malawi, Mali, Nepal, Nicaragua, and Senegal. In February 2014, they broke ground on their first school in Burkina Faso.

Handicap International

In partnership with EAC, Handicap International aims to reach more than 28,000 out of school children (OOSC) of primary age with disabilities across ten sub-Saharan African countries.