Vice chancellor, University of Cape Town, Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng, has called on changemakers in Nigeria and across the continent to step forward for this year’s Africa Education Medal.
Founded by T4 Education and HP in collaboration with Microsoft, the Africa Education Medal is the region’s most prestigious education accolade. It is given to an outstanding individual who has demonstrated impact, leadership and advocacy in the field of education.
Phakeng won last year’s inaugural Africa Education Medal award.
In the decades leading up to the pandemic, Africa had been making great strides in boosting school enrolment.
To protect and expand upon these vital gains in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, Phakeng, in her keynote address said teachers, non-governmental organisations, politicians, tech entrepreneurs and figures from public and private sectors, will need to work together to build a future where every child in the region can achieve the quality education that is their birthright.
The Africa Education Medal recognises the tireless work of those who are transforming education across the continent – to celebrate the stories of those who have lit the spark of change so others will be inspired to take up the torch.
Two Nigerians – Folawe Omikunle, Chief Executive Officer of Teach For Nigeria (TFN) and Jide Martin, Founder and CEO of Comic Republic, were finalists for the Africa Education Medal 2022 and organisers hope more Nigerians will apply for the medal this year.
Applications for the Africa Education Medal 2023 opened at the Transforming Education in Africa Summit, co-hosted by T4 Education, Teach For All and HP. The summit brought together educators, NGOs, politicians, tech entrepreneurs and leading figures in African education to discuss how learning can be harnessed to unlock Africa’s potential.
Phakeng said: “It was the greatest honour to be recognised for my life’s passion. Winning the Africa Education Medal 2022 gave me a global platform to advocate that work and I hope it has inspired others across the continent to further the cause of African education.
“If it is your passion too, if you want to see an Africa in which every child’s potential is fulfilled, and you are working every day to make that vision a reality, then, I urge you to step forward for the Africa Education Medal 2023. Changemakers from Nigeria and across our continent should apply.”
Managing Director, Middle East and Africa at HP, Ertug Ayik, said a good education empowers not just individuals, but entire communities. According to him, being accessible to everyone, education can skill the next generation so that children can develop and grow in a world being transformed by technology.
“HP has a bold goal to enable better learning outcomes for 150 million people globally by 2030. Only by joining forces between NGOs, government, educators and businesses can we truly improve the education environment. The Africa Education Medal brings together all those who are changing the face of African education, whose tireless work deserves to be celebrated,” he declared.
Kenyan-born Founder and CEO of T4 Education, Vikas Pota, said: “Education is the key to Africa’s future. It will help African countries grow and prosper. In the wake of the pandemic, African education stands at a crossroads, but if leaders from across the continent come together then they can build the lasting change needed to truly unlock the continent’s potential.
“The Africa Education Medal is a rallying cry for changemakers to come forward and be counted.”
The Top 10 finalists for the Africa Education Medal will be announced in May while the winner will be announced in July. Nominees will be assessed by a Jury comprising prominent individuals based on rigorous criteria.