It is over 40 years since Coombs (1967) first drew attention to the World Education Crisis, and specifically problems in the educational systems of countries in the developing world. Today, many of these problems remain, and are most visible in the educational systems of countries in sub-Saharan Africa. A large number of children remain out of school and for those who do enrol, less than half complete the primary education cycle. More worrying is the fact that those who do complete primary schooling leave with unacceptably low levels of knowledge and skills. The problems of access to education, and the quality of learning opportunities and learning outcomes are unevenly spread between rural and urban areas, better- and worse-off constituencies, and between boys and girls. This raises questions about the nature of the state and its commitment to equality and equity for all. The chapters in this volume argue that quality, equity and democratic accountability are inseparable objectives in the quest to strengthen and improve educational systems in the developing world. Between them they highlight the specific problems of quality, equity and democratic accountability in a number of African educational systems, and provide useful insights into ongoing work by national governments and international donor agencies to remedy these shortcomings.