International Development Assistance and Educational Development in ECOWAS

Ogbebor, Timothy Ogieva ; Okungbowa, Osaretin Godspower (2018)


The World Bank puts the number of poor persons in Africa, based on the international poverty line of US$1.90 per person per day, 2013 at 389 million, a figure that is more than the number of poor persons in all other regions of the world combined (World Bank, 2016). Some researchers believe that international development assistance has a positive impact in reducing the high rate of poverty. Human capital development is seen as a key economic variable required in achieving the desired improvement in the standard of living of people living in developing countries. Consequently, this paper narrows the foreign-aid led growth discourse by investigating the relationship between international development assistance and educational development in countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) using panel data from 14 ECOWAS countries for the period 1974 to 2014 (a period of 41 years).The findings were that, though the average ratio of official development assistance (ODA) to GDP is 15.2 percent of the ECOWAS sub-region during the period, which is high, its impact on educational development was significant but negative. This may be attributed to the wrong application of ODA by the receiving countries or their non-application to the education sector of the economy or to the type of ODA received.