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Knowledge and Education  

The dimension “knowledge and education” of the Human Development Index (HDI) is measured by the indicators “adult literacy rate” and “enrolment rate”.

Young scholars and teachers in front of rehabilitated school.
Source: Tump 2006
( click to enlarge )

Adult Literacy

The adult literacy rate is the proportion of the adult population aged 15 years and older which is literate, expressed as a percentage of the corresponding population. In this context, literacy is defined as being able to read and write a simple statement on everyday life. As definitions and data collection methods vary across countries, literacy estimates should be interpreted with caution (UNDP 2009).


According to the latest HDI data, 67.4% of the population aged 15 years and older in Angola is literate. Adult literacy remained on a relatively low level from 1990 (41.7 %, UNDP 1993) until the end of the civil war in 2002 (42 %, UNDP 2004). HDI data from 2003 (UNDP 2005) indicate a sharp increase to 66.8 %.


In 2007, 88 % of Namibia’s adult population was considered literate. Back in 1990, only 57.5 % of the population had learned how to read and write (UNDP 1993). Since then, a broad-based national literacy programme has further improved access to basic education. The National Literacy Programme in Namibia was launched in 1992 and by 1999 adult literacy had attained 81.4 % (UNESCO website 2010; UNDP 2001).

Gross Enrolment Ratio

The gross enrolment ratio is defined as the percentage of the population (in theoretical school age) enrolled in primary, secondary or tertiary education (UNDP 2009).


In 2007, Angola’s gross enrolment ratio was 65.3 %, which seems to be relatively high compared to earlier years. Although consistent time series are not available, basic information can be retrieved from previous editions of the Human Development Report.

In 1999, only 23 % of the population in theoretical school age were enrolled (UNDP 2001). Data for 2000-2003 indicate a level of about 30 %. By now, the country seems to have attained about the same level as its neighbouring country Namibia, which is a major accomplishment.


In 2007, Namibia’s gross enrolment ratio was 67.2 %. Data from previous Human Development Reports suggest stagnation at this level.




Explore the sub-basins of the Kunene River

Video Interviews about the integrated and transboundary management of the Kunene River basin

View a historical timeline of the Kunene basin countries, including water agreements & infrastructure

Video scenes about the limited access to water of the San in Kunene Province