In contrary to other regions like Latin America, African countries so far only occasionally participated in international assessments of students achievements. After the World Conference of Education in Jomtien (1990), however, several African countries got involved in different projects of such assessments. The main results of 3 principal projects of this kind: Monitoring Learning Achievement (MLA), Programme d'Analyse des Systèmes Éducatifs (PASEC) und Southern African Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality (SACMEQ) are described in this article, putting them into the context of other historical assessment and evaluation schemes in Africa. It has to be considered that the assessments of these newer projects refer exclusively to cognitive aspects and not to emotional and other aspects of values and norms in education. Altogether, however, they show that more than half of the pupils do not comply with the defined minimum requirements of the tests. This means that, with regard to cognitive aspects, they practically learn nothing or very little at school. Africa seems to be far away from the Millennium Goal of achieving universal primary education, at least with regard to quality. In order to get a real impact on the improvement of the quality of education these assessments have to be integrated much more into the structure and the processes of general government policy in the education sector and to be related much more to the other historical forms of assessment. Moreover, there are two decisive factors for a needed more learner-centered educational process in Africa: education in the mother tongue and more consideration of traditional African forms of learning. The relation of such aspects to achievement tests could be investigated much more within programmes of German educational cooperation in Africa in cooperation with researchers in those countries. There is a big danger that the promotion of education in the poor countries of Africa will get even more frustrated if results of learning processes in schools will not be improved.