A THES special report on the eve of a meeting of Africa's education ministers
* The Dar es Salaam meeting of education ministers will next week examine how best to build education into Nepad (the New Partnership for Africa's Development), tackle the knowledge deficit that is a critical factor in holding back development and stop the brain drain
* HIV/Aids, conflict, illiteracy and poverty have blocked economic and social development in sub-Saharan Africa
* An estimated 30,000 Africans with doctorates live outside the continent
* Young adults represent about 45 per cent of the population in most African states, but higher education has barely made an impact - the median rate of entry into higher education is under 2 per cent in 30 countries of sub-Saharan Africa
* Universities' vital role producing the professionals that the region will need if it is to reach its development goals is now recognised by agencies such as the World Bank.