This volume highlights the proceedings of the two policy dialogue conferences held by the Working Group on Finance and Education (WGFE) in 2004. Part I of the document discusses the endemic crisis that higher educationhas been beset with since the outset of the post colonial period in Africa. It highlights the critical state of higher education systems in Burkina Faso, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal by scrutinizing the causes, manifestations and consequences of the crisis to posit useful recommendations and possible solutions. Part II is a comprehensive review of the challenges facing the financing and planning of all levels and types ofeducation - from kindergarten to graduate school - in selected African countries. The papers reveal the sources and mechanisms of funding education in Africa, drawing attention to the experiences of communities confronted with new funding sources. A new trend, which consists of designing decade long educational development plans, has emerged and is rapidly expanding in numerous African countries. This experience is examined and shared by the authors. This book has contributions in both French and English.