Secondary education holds a privileged position in all education systems. placed between. In most African countries, however, secondary education is facing three common problems: inadequate infrastructures, improper equipment, and limited laboratories and qualified staff. Despite this, society in increasingly demanding that secondary education prepare students for jobs and prepare them for higher education. To these two missions is added a third complex one: setting up admission structures for a growing school population continually emerging from the primary sector. Also, the secondary education sector has to deal with a range of issues, including the environment, human rights, drug addiction, AIDS, poverty, and unemployment--issues that are more social problems than educational concenrs. in order to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century and play its vital role of regulator in the education system, the secondary education sector must be reorganized. Documents delineating strategies for the medium term (1996-2001), and UNESCO's two-year program (2000-2001) indicate that the best approach is to a) diversify the structures to expand payment systems for secondary-level services, b) renew study programs and pedagogy to include information technologies, and c) eradicate inequalities. COMEDAF and the World Education Forum at Dakar have set forth the following priorities for reorganizing the sector: equity, quality, developing complementary learning methids, reinforcing coordination skills, follow-up and evaluation, and diversifying learning methods. Finally, in considering secondary education reforms. the role of the informal sector of the economy--which has a major impact on poverty eradication and youth employment--must be recognized.