The overarching objective of the World Bank's assistance to Sub-Saharan African countries is poverty reduction through sustained economic growth at a high level and improved social services. Past experience shows that a minimum level of educational attainment has been a prerequisite for the success of such a strategy. The current level of education development has been low, and the development of primary education has stagnated and even declined in some countries since the early 1980s. This paper examines the likely causes for deteriorating enrollment rates in Africa. It looks at the constraints in the demand for schooling and gives possible reasons for stagnation.