I believe that partnerships are critical for Africa to make rapid progress in speeding human capital development and global competitiveness. Indeed I will not hesitate to conclude that Africa will have little or no chance in global market place competitiveness without strong, reliable and enduring partnerships. However, there is a circularity between human capital development and the building of relationships for global partnerships. First, improvements in human capital help in preparing a society or nation for global partnerships. All partnerships start from successful relationships that are developed from knowledge, behavioral trust and ability to perform. I argue that all partnerships are erected on these three platforms – Knowledge, Trust and Ability. Knowledge includes education and experience on both sides of the intended relationship. Trust is founded also on experience and information about each other in high fidelity of character and overall behavior. Ability is the manifestation of skills and wellness and is concerned with the role each party is expected to play. So in the end there is not only a mere positive correlation between good partnerships and human capital, there is indeed a two way causal relationship between the two that I consider to be a circularity.
In all this, education is perhaps the most critical, because it is easy to be assessed. Consider this, according to Global Partnership for Education (GPE), Nigeria has approximately 20% of the total out–of-school children population in the world. Indeed according to GPE, in Northern part of Nigeria almost two-thirds of students are functionally illiterate. Fortunately as the report also stated the states of Jigawa, Kaduna, Katsina, Kano, and Sokoto have shown commitment to improving their education systems. Even so altogether many Nigerian and other African States face severe challenges including high poverty levels, low enrollment, gender disparities, poor infrastructure and learning conditions. In my organization, Economic Growth and Development Center (EGDC) we believe that the solution to human capital deficiency and poverty lies in strong partnerships, local and global.