Africa Education Medal

Education is the key to Africa’s future. The continent’s great changemakers recognise this. A good education empowers whole communities. It will skill the next generation to fulfil their full potential in a world being transformed by technology. It will reduce poverty and inequality. And it will produce the scientists and leaders of tomorrow who will go on to grapple with Africa’s greatest challenges from climate change to food insecurity and disease. In the decades leading up to the pandemic, Africa had been making great strides in boosting school enrolment.

AEM

To protect and expand upon these vital gains in the face of the greatest disruption global education has ever known, it will take everyone working together. Leaders with bold visions for a better tomorrow – teachers, NGOs, politicians, tech entrepreneurs, figures from the public and private sectors – can help build a future where every child in Africa can achieve the quality education that is their birthright.

That is why we are launching the Africa Education Medal to recognise 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.

The Africa Education Medal will be awarded to an outstanding individual who has demonstrated impact, leadership, and advocacy in the field of education.

Judging Criteria

Nominees will be assessed on the following criteria:

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Advocacy

The nominee must explain how they have advocated for change, particularly where they are not in a position to enact that change themselves. Read more. Change doesn’t just come from the top. Often it is built from the bottom up. And that means people working every day to advocate for their cause. Here we are looking for evidence – ideally already in the public record – that nominees have been prominent advocates for improving education in some way. Whether that is through media articles, books, television or radio appearances, public talks, lobbying or leading a movement, we want to see the steps nominees have gone through to make those in power sit up and take notice of their ideas. Read less.

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Impact

The nominee must demonstrate the concrete difference they have made in improving education. Read more. We are looking for evidence that the nominee’s work has led to tangible improvements to the lives and learning of students as well as those in the wider community, or has affected demonstrable change in the education ecosystem on a national or international level. Quantitative evidence is important here, such as how many students reached or measurable improvements to education outcomes, but so is displaying innovation and the overcoming of adversity to achieve these impacts. Read less.

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Leadership

The nominee must demonstrate their leadership through example. Great changemakers do not act alone. They inspire a movement. Read more. Whether it is in one school, one community or across an entire nation, leaders have the ability to make things happen because they are the change they want to see in the world. We are looking for evidence that the nominee has carried others with them in their vision for change, that they have defined a goal for others to strive to, that they have inspired others to take action, and that their own actions have set a positive example that others have followed. Read less.

Eligibility

Who is eligible for the Medal?

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The Africa Education Medal is open to individuals working to improve pre-kindergarten, K-12, vocational and university education who are one of the following:

  • Educators and school administrators
  • Civil society leaders
  • Public servants and government officials
  • Political leaders
  • Technologists and innovators
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Nominees must demonstrate their contribution in at least one of the following key areas in education:

  • Significantly improving learning outcomes
  • Promoting girls’ education
  • Promoting equity and broadening access to education
  • Advancing pedagogical or technological innovation
  • Building and strengthening educator capacity
  • Catalysing civic participation in education
  • Championing the rights of education stakeholders

Make a Nomination

Some key dates to note:

Launch of the nomination process

April 2022

June 3rd 2022

Nominations close

Announcement of Top 10 finalists

July 2022

September 2022

Announcement of the winner

Africa Education Lecture to celebrate
the winner of the AEM

January 2023

calendar (1) Nominations will close on June 3, 2022.

Read our FAQs here

Submit your nominations

Judging process

The Africa Education Medal will be judged by a Jury comprising prominent individuals.

Meet our Jury:

Albert Nsengiyumva

Executive Secretary of the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA)

Brian K Schreuder

Specialist Advisor to the Western Cape Education Department in South Africa

John Kimotho

Team Lead & CEO of Trinity Education Technologies Solutions Africa Limited (TETA)

Mayank Dhingra

Senior Education Business Leader for Middle East, Africa and Eastern Europe at HP

Oley Dibba-Wadda

Founder, President and CEO of the Gam Africa Institute for Leadership (GAIL)

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka

Founder and leader of Umlambo Foundation

Vikas Pota

Founder and CEO of T4 Education

Vongai Nyahunzvi

Head of Africa and Chief Network Officer at Teach For All

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Albert Nsengiyumva

Executive Secretary of the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA)

Mr. Albert Nsengiyumva is presently the Executive Secretary of the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA). A hands-on result-oriented leader with deep analytical skills and have a good knowledge of policy development and practices related to education, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Africa. He holds more than 20 years of experience acquired in policy development in education, technical and vocational skills development (TVSD) as well as ICT. Having been a Rwandan government minister for over 4 years, Mr. Nsengiyumva’s expertise in understanding government functionalities, social capital and networks with regional bodies (i.e. African Union, African Development Bank, etc.) is key to achieve the mandate of ADEA.

“I am proud to support the Africa Education Medal, a vital new initiative that, by celebrating those striving to improve education, will inspire countless more to follow in their footsteps.”

Brian
Brian K Schreuder

Specialist Advisor to the Western Cape Education Department in South Africa

Brian Schreuder is currently a Specialist Advisor to the Western Cape Education Department in South Africa and to other entities. He is the former Superintendent General (Head of Department) of the Western Cape Education Department. He retired on 31 March 2021 after 47 years of dedicated service to education. 

He is an EdTech, Curriculum and Examinations specialist who was responsible for the WCED e-Vision and the roll-out of e-Learning and e-Teaching in Western Cape schools, driving the Western Cape Government’s eLearning Game Changer. He was also responsible for the creation and rollout of the WCED Transform to Perform Strategy, a systems-wide strategy to improve values in all schools, change mindset for all teachers and growth mindsets amongst all learners.

Brian has served and still serves on various global and national advisory bodies, including The South African Certification Council (SAFCERT), UMALUSI (Council for Quality Assurance in General and Further Education and Training) and the Interactive Science Foundation which governs the Cape Town Science Centre. 

He has been a global judge of EdTech innovation projects and is a judge of the Global Teacher Prize, the Global Student Prize, as well as the newly instituted Global Schools Prize.

His experience includes Physical Science teacher (17 years), School Principal, Superintendent of Education, District, Director: Curriculum, Chief Director: Education Planning, Deputy Director-General: Education Planning and Development and Deputy Director-General: Curriculum and Assessment Management. He is regarded as a specialist schooling, as well as in assessments and national examinations.

His Qualifications:

B.Sc (1973);

S.O.D. Cum Laude (1974);

B.Ed (1977);

M.Ed (1981)

All qualifications obtained at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Other experiences, etc

  • Co-author of a number of renowned series of Physical Science and General Science textbooks, as well as a best-selling series of Technology textbooks
  • Part-time lecturer in Subject Methodology of Physical Science - University of Stellenbosch (1977 - 1979)
  • Lectured Methodology of Physical Science to teachers during in-service training course - University of Stellenbosch: Institute for Mathematics and Science Education (IMSTUS) (1979 - 1980)
  • Chairman of the Board of the Interactive Science Foundation (ISF) which governs the Cape Town Science Centre in Cape Town.
  • Member of the Western Cape Education Council (2011 – 2014).

International experiences include:

  • Appointed as a member of the Global Advisory Council of the New York-based The Education Partners, affiliated to GEMS Education. (2014)
  • International Judge in the Microsoft Global Education Forum and participated in the Educational Leaders strand discussions, Barcelona, Spain (2014)
  • Attended the Global Education and Skills Forum (GESF) in Dubai over a number of years. Was part of a Global Launch Panel for The Education Partners Systemic Transformation Programme in Dubai.
  • Attended the Global Education Leaders Programme (GELP) Conference in Durban (April 2015).
  • Invited to do a presentation on the Western Cape eLearning Strategy at the Millennium Foundation Meeting in New York (August 2015).
  • Was invited by the Brookings Institution to be a panellist discussing Leapfrogging Inequality at the ASU GSV Summit in San Diego, California in 2019.
  • He is a Judge in the annual Global Teacher Prize
  • Was invited as a Judge in the “Next Billion” EdTech Start-up Competition in Dubai
  • He is a Judge in the Global Students Prize
  • He is a Judge in the Global Schools Prize.

He turns 70 in March 2022, is married and has two daughters – a Lawyer and a High School Science Teachers. He is a Springbok Scout and an avid sportsman, having played 1st team Rugby, Cricket and Tennis at school. He continued to play league Cricket and Tennis competitively for many years and is a keen Golfer and recreational Gardener.

“The ongoing development and upliftment of Education in Africa is vital for sustained global educational, environmental and economic development. Impactful African Educational leaders at all levels of the education system are vital for this sustainability. In this context, the introduction of an Africa Education Medal is a wonderful initiative that will stimulate and focus the spotlight on impactful African Education Leaders.”

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John Kimotho

Team Lead & CEO of Trinity Education Technologies Solutions Africa Limited (TETA)

John Kimotho is a champion and thought leader in Educational Media in East Africa. He is the Former Director of Educational Media at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (2008 to 2022) and leads the Country in educational media for levels other than University. His portfolio included overseeing the development and provision of quality print and electronic media curriculum support materials (Books. Digital Books, Radio, TV, Interactive digital Content online and offline). He takes leadership in Digital literacy in curriculum content and delivery.

He is a PhD Communication Student at Daystar University writing dissertation having completed the course work and defended the research proposal. He holds a Master’s Degree (Communications - Media Studies) from Daystar University. He holds Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in African Leadership in ICT and Knowledge Society from Dublin City University and PGC in media management from University of Alberta, Canada. He has undertaken several professional courses in strategic leadership and development, strategic negotiations, results based performance and public private partnerships. Mr. Kimotho is a registered with Engineer’s Registration Board. He is an award winner in Pan African Heritage awards in Television category and Public service award in Innovations. Prior to joining KICD he has worked in the educational media field and served at Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, Educational Media - Canada and National Museums of Kenya (NMK).

He is a member of the Global Digital Literacy Council currently establishing standards for relevant workforce in 2020 and beyond. He is an ambassador and advocate of Digital Literacy to spur development through knowledge economy. He is an educator and transformative leader at community, national and regional levels. He trains community in leadership skills and sustainable educational technology in Africa for Africa.

John presented to UNESCO during the World Literacy Day (2017) on assessment of Literacy in Digital World. He was nominated to join UNESCO task force 4.4 under the UNESCO statistical Institute. The task force named Global Alliance to Monitor Learning (GAML) is responsible for Digital Literacy under the Sustainable Development Goal 4.

John Kimotho is the pioneer in the following:

  1. FM schools broadcast across Kenya
  2. Use of video and audio in heritage education through museums in Kenya (Nairobi Museum, Kitale Museum, Athletics Museums and Kanga, Toys, Agroforestry Exhibitions among others)
  3. EDU TV channel in Kenya (Presidential Launch in 2010)
  4. Curriculum Innovation Centre in Kenya (Presidential Launch in 2010)
  5. The Kenya Education Cloud (National Innovation in 2017 and rolled out in 2029)

He seeks to:

  1. Empower the individual and the community to utilize ICT to access education and training to realise and reach their potential
  2. Promote learning culture among the people leading to knowledge sharing and resource mobilization
  3. Promote national cohesion and peace
  4. Promote creative and innovative culture in Africa leading to localized technologies for local problem solving and knowledge exploit.

“In Kenya, and all across Africa, blended learning is key to SDG 4 (quality education for all), and a resilient education system. Indeed, the best education technology is the one that is working for you. The dynamics of today’s education dictates seamless interface of the public and private sectors working together to ensure we are able to provide a quality education to every child. It is therefore the responsibility of every opinion and inspirational leader from Kenya and all over our continent to come forward and apply for the Africa Education Medal, for it is in sharing experiences that we develop and better ourselves and each other.”

Mayank Dhingra
Mayank Dhingra

Senior Education Business Leader for Middle East, Africa and Eastern Europe at HP

Mayank Dhingra leads the Education Business Vertical for Middle East, Africa and Eastern Europe at HP Inc. His role is to provide commercial headship, strategic direction, solution frameworks, social-capital curation and thought leadership to the Education business line.

Mayank works with National Education Ministries to support country level education policy and to evangelize HP’s education proposition. He has spearheaded the regional development of HP’s Remote Learning Program, Smart Classroom Ecosystem, Innovation Labs, Digital Capability Program for Educators, and Pedagogy Consultancy Frameworks for governments and regulators. He was previously with GEMS Education where he headed the Commercial line for a network of 50 Schools in MENASA region. In addition, he sat on the board of two schools. Prior to GEMS he was with the Emirates Group for nearly 15 years in two stints and his last role was Head of Global Technology Partnerships where he led a portfolio of over 450 vendor relations and program managed large scale collaboration projects with tech partners. His preceding role was Head of Customer Experience for dnata (Emirates Group).

Mayank is a sought-after keynote speaker, author and moderator on EdTech subjects.

Mayank is a certified Yoga teacher as well and the founder of a non-profit entity – Yogasmriti. All proceeds from the initiative are directed to charitable causes supporting children in need. Mayank’s philanthropic work has been recognised at regional and international forums.

“HP has been committed to enabling better learning outcomes for 100 million people between 2015-2025. Achieving our bold goal wouldn’t be possible without empowered education leaders and trailblazers who are at the forefront of the rapidly changing education environment. We are very proud to support The Africa Education Medal, which will give those at the heart of education a platform to amplify their voices. I hope it will inspire many others to follow their examples.”

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Oley Dibba-Wadda

Founder, President and CEO of the Gam Africa Institute for Leadership (GAIL)

Oley Dibba-Wadda is a social development executive and strategic analyst with over 25 years of leadership and management experience. She is an expert in African and international  policies on education, gender equality and youth development. She is the Founder, President  and CEO of the Gam Africa Institute for Leadership (GAIL). Prior, Oley was the Director of  Human Capital, Youth and Skills Development at the African Development Bank where she  led five portfolios namely; Education and skills Development; Youth Employment and  Entrepreneurship; Public Health Security, Social Protection and Nutrition under her  department.  

Before joining the African Development Bank, she was the Executive Secretary of the  Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) - a Pan African Institution  (hosted by the African Development Bank) in Tunisia and then Abidjan. Oley also worked as  the Executive Director of the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) based in  Nairobi, Kenya; a Pan African organization for promoting the education of girls’ across Sub 

Saharan Africa; as well as the Executive Director of Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS) - an Africa wide organization working on women, peace and security in Africa based in Dakar.  

Ms. Dibba-Wadda has held several senior management and advisory roles across various  international development agencies, including Oxfam Great Britain, the Commonwealth  Education Fund and Concern Universal. Between 2011 and 2013, she chaired the Gender is  my Agenda (GIMAC) Campaign Movement across Africa. She also Chaired the Executive  Committee of the Association for the Development of Education in Africa. She is the current  Chair of the Advisory Council of Teach for All Africa and a Global Ambassador for 10X10 and  Concern Universal.  

A certified Life Coach, Oley Dibba-Wadda has, over the past 20 years been providing coaching  and mentoring support on emotional life skills to several youths across the African continent.  Oley has travelled extensively to over 50+ countries globally and been invited to speak at  several international forums as guest and keynote speaker. She is the author of “Memoirs of  an African Woman on a Mission.”  

In recognition of her exemplary contribution towards human capital development globally,  Ms. Dibba-Wadda was, awarded the “Inspiring Woman of Excellence” in 2012 and the “African  Woman Leadership” in 2013. She was one of the nominees for the 2017 New African Woman  in Education and one of the nominees for the 2020 “She Awards” for Outstanding Woman  Writer. In March 2020, Oley Dibba-Wadda was selected amongst the inaugural cohort of 15  African women leaders across Africa for the President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf “Amujae Initiative”  which seeks to inspire and prepare women to take up roles in the highest echelons of public  leadership across Africa. She is a member of the National Executive of one of the largest  political parties in The Gambia, the United Democratic Party, and currently assumes the  position of Deputy Senior Administrative Secretary within the Party. 

 

"Nations should be reminded that quality Education for All as a global public good is the only way to further the socio-economic growth of any country.  We must therefore invest in our teachers and nurture their progress to ensure they offer a “first class” learner centered approach in the classrooms if we truly want socio economic growth."

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Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka

Founder and leader of Umlambo Foundation

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka is former United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women. She was awarded a doctorate in Technology and Education from Warwick University. She has authored several scholarly and other opinion pieces. A Hauser Leader at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership. She became a Member of Parliament, Deputy Minister of Department of Trade and Industry, Minister of Minerals and Energy, and finally as Deputy President of South Africa in 2005 to 2008, Dr. Mlambo-Ngcuka worked tirelessly on programmes and policies to reduce inequality. As the head of the UNwomen, she has been a global advocate for women and girls. She established initiatives such as the HeForShe for men and boys to address gender Equality. She also successfully mobilized an historic $40 billion USD for women and girls around the world. She is a founder and leader of Umlambo Foundation which is dedicated to improvement of education and digital literacy training for educators.

“Africa’s great changemakers recognise that education is the key to our future. From the classrooms to the corridors of power, from the libraries to the laboratories, they are working every day to ensure we deliver a brighter tomorrow for our continent’s children. I call on these inspirational leaders from South Africa and across Africa to step forward and apply for the Africa Education Medal so their stories can inspire thousands more.”

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Vikas Pota

Founder and CEO of T4 Education

Vikas Pota is the Founder and CEO of T4 Education, a digital media platform he established as a response to the challenges posed by the pandemic to education globally. T4 is building the world’s largest community of teachers and schools and is providing opportunities for educators to network, collaborate, share best practices, and support each other’s efforts to improve learning. T4 works to amplify teachers’ voices because the world in which every child receives a good education will only be built by listening to those at the heart of education. Vikas was previously CEO of a philanthropic foundation, has been recognised as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and as one of London’s 1,000 most influential persons. Vikas was recently named European regional honouree for the 2022 YPO Global Impact Award. 

“Quality education will help African countries grow and prosper. And it will help Africa produce the public leaders of tomorrow who will go on to grapple with the continent’s greatest challenges from inequality, to climate change, food insecurity and disease. The Africa Education Medal recognises those who are working every day to make that vision a reality.”

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Vongai Nyahunzvi

Head of Africa and Chief Network Officer at Teach For All

Vongai Nyahunzvi is Head of Africa and Chief Network Officer at Teach For All, a global network of independent organizations working to develop collective leadership to ensure all children can fulfill their potential. Vongai has held senior leadership positions across the corporate, government, and not-for-profit sectors for more than 20 years. She is known for her entrepreneurial approach and her passion for helping senior leaders think clearly, strategically, and practically. 

Vongai has an extensive track record of building strong relationships, trust, and engagement at all levels. Prior to her current role, she was the Head of the Africa Region at Teach For All, where she oversaw the support and engagement with network partners in the region as well as the launch of new organizations in Africa. For eight years, Vongai ran her own leadership and organizational development practice,  supporting senior leaders in organizations, including chief executives, heads of UN agencies, and managing directors, across four continents and multiple sectors. She has also held senior director-level positions in organizations including BT Global and Royal Holloway University in the United Kingdom. 

Vongai is recognized as a thought leader on leadership development and has authored two books on the topic,  Leading From Within — Shifting Perspectives on Leadership (2015) and Leadership Syndromes — Identifying the Self-sabotaging Behaviour Patterns that Can Derail Your Effectiveness as a Leader (2016). In 2016, she launched a monthly roundtable for CEOs across sectors to discuss leadership challenges at the C-suite level. She also founded the UK-based Europe Leadership Awards, which brought together senior leaders from around the world. 

In addition to her role at Teach For All, Vongai sits on a number of Boards where she provides strategic input. Born and raised in a patriarchal society, she is passionate about ensuring that girls around the world can thrive. She is a proud mother of three boys and lives in Corby, United Kingdom.

“Africa has the world’s youngest and fastest growing population. By investing in the continent’s burgeoning next generation, we will see it flourish. The Africa Education Medal is a fantastic new initiative that will honour those who recognise the crucial role education has to play in building a better future for Africa.”

Our partners

We are delighted to partner with the following organisations in this endeavour.

Discover why they support the Africa Education Medal.

Founding Partner

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Strategic Partner

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