The Africa Report: 11 June

EWN's Africa correspondent, Jean-Jacques Cornish, reports on the day's top African news

Children painting inside their classroom at Jo's School on 24 January 2013. Picture: Giovanna Gerbi/EWN

NIGERIA: THE WORLD'S WORST COUNTRY FOR CHILDREN MISSING SCHOOL

Following the United Nations' Millennium Summit in 2000, all 193 member states of which 54 are African, agreed to make strides toward achieving eight goals by 2015.

One of the eight goals is achieving universal primary education.

However, a new paper released just before the United Nations Secretary-General's Global Education First Initiative on Tuesday has revealed that the progressing in achieving the education goal has come to a standstill.

According to data provided by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), 57 million children were still out of school in 2011, which is only a 2 million decrease from 2010.

Nigeria alone was home to 10.5 million out-of-school children, making it the worst country in the world in achieving universal primary education.

UNESCO credits the stunted progress with significant cuts in aid for basic education.

Basic education aid fell by 6% between 2010 and 2011 and there has been a significant reduction of aid to the countries and regions that most need it.

Despite its growing economy, Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for more than 50% of out-of-school children in the world, by far the worst region in the world.

However, generally speaking, attending primary school is becoming the norm in Africa with school food programmes and access to preschools playing a big role.

BURKINA FASO MEDIATORS ON THE BRINK OF A NEGOTIATED PACT IN MALI

Before the armed conflict of 2012 in the northern regions, Mali was one of Africa's greatest democracies, having overcome one-party rule in 1991 to establish a multi-party democracy with a constitution to rival South Africa's.

However, matters were complicated in 2012 when an armed conflict broke out which saw Tuareg rebels - separatists who want to form their own nation-state - took over Azawad, a Malian territory in the north of the country.

al-Qaeda soon moved into the region but have since been driven out by French forces.

The French troops plan to withdraw soon, leaving Mali to depend on a forthcoming African force, and, negotiations that are to take place on Saturday in Burkina Faso.

The negotiations will deal with the agreement made between Malian government and the Tuareg rebels.

One of the anticipated outcomes of the negotiations would be the go-ahead of elections that would see a democratic transition in the country.

BURUNDI MARKET FIRE A BODY BLOW FOR NATIONAL ECONOMY

The Bujumbura market place in Burundi was once a bustling business zone and the heart of the country's economy until it was burned down four months ago.

In addition to the loss of many traders' livelihood, the blaze - which police believe was as a result of arson - also took with it uninsured storage facilities, worsening an already tragic situation.

In 2012, the international community pledged $2.6 billion in aid but it is yet to be released.

Worsening the situation are falling tax revenues which have decreased by 20%.