Nowhere in the world is skills building more vital than in Sub-Saharan Africa. While the region faces challenges similar to
those faced by other regions at similar stages of development, its challenges are also unique. With economic, demographic,
and technological changes, the world of work and production is rapidly changing. Multiple skills are needed in modernizing
economies, including foundational cognitive and socio-emotional skills as well as technical skills. Yet, despite unprecedented
progress getting more children into schools, Sub-Saharan African countries have significant gaps in skills formation. Child
stunting rates remain stubbornly high and in most of the region there is a learning crisis. Skills investments in the region
require a balancing act. Countries face hard choices to strike the right balance between investing in skills that meet the
needs of today's highly informal and agrarian economies (e.g., basic skills to improve livelihoods) and investing in the skills
needed to foster economic transformation (e.g., technical skills for catalytic sectors); and between investing in the skills
for the current generation and in those for upcoming ones. While challenging, the region has opportunities for leap-frogging.
There is today more rigorous evidence on interventions that work to improve learning, and Sub-Saharan Africa is often at the
frontier of these innovations.