Africa Education Medal

Ready to amplify your impact?

Established by T4 Education and HP in 2022, the Africa Education Medal was the first of the three World Education Medals to be founded and has grown to become Africa’s most prestigious education accolade. It celebrates the leaders sparking change across the continent, bringing together all those striving for an Africa in which every child has access to quality education.

Because education is the key to Africa’s future. 

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, which has exacerbated learning poverty, leaders from across society’s great spectrum will need to work together.

We are providing a platform for, and creating a network of, leaders who are committed to making a difference in Africa.

We’re celebrating leaders sparking change.

Are you the next changemaker?

Learn more about our eligibility criteria and how to submit a nomination.

Winners and finalists

Discover the past finalists and winners, and get inspired by them.

Winner

Simi Nwogugu

CEO, JA Africa, Nigeria

Finalists

Snehar Shah

CEO of Moringa School, Kenya

Mary Metcalfe

Former policymaker & CEO of Programme to Improve Learning Outcomes (PILO), South Africa

Laura Kakon

Chief Growth & Strategy Officer of Honoris United Universities, Morocco

Martha Muhwezi

Executive Director of FAWE, Uganda

Rogers Patrick Kamugisha

Country Director, Educate!, Rwanda

Sara Ruto

Former Chief Administrative Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Kenya & former CEO of the PAL Network, Kenya

Jean-Claude Nkulikiyimfura

Executive Director at Agahozo Shalom Youth Village, Rwanda

Grace Matlhape

CEO of SmartStart, South Africa

Mary Ashun

Principal of Ghana International School, Ghana

Winner

Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng

Former Vice Chancellor, University of Cape Town

Finalists

Basuti Bolo

Endowed Chair Educational Technologies, Africa University

Cyrille Nkontchou

Founder and Chairman, Enko Education

Felix Malombe

Executive Director and Lead Trainer, STEAMLabs Africa

Folawe Omikunle

Chief Executive Officer, Teach For Nigeria

H.E. Jakaya Kikwete

Former President of Tanzania and Chair of the Board of Directors, Global Partnership for Education

Jide Martin

CEO, Comic Republic

John Mugo

Executive Director, Zizi Afrique Foundation

Musu Bakoto Sawo

National Coordinator and Law Lecturer, Think Young Women

Noella Coursaris Musunka

Founder and CEO, Malaika Foundation

Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng

Former Vice Chancellor, University of Cape Town

Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town, South Africa, was named the winner of the inaugural Africa Education Medal, launched by T4 Education and HP in collaboration with Intel and Microsoft in 2022.

Growing up in rural and township South Africa during Apartheid, she became the first black female South African to achieve a PhD in Mathematics Education in 2002 and she is determined not to be the last. In the two decades since she has published more than 80 research papers and five edited volumes that continue to shape mathematics education in classrooms across Africa and far beyond. Her research focuses on language practices in multilingual mathematics classrooms and has proved influential in post-colonial Africa and post-Apartheid South Africa in particular.

Simi Nwogugu

CEO, JA Africa, Nigeria

Simi Nwogugu is CEO of JA Africa, part of the Nobel Peace Prize-nominated JA Worldwide, one of the world’s largest youth-serving NGOs that prepares young people for the future of work. She was first introduced to JA while working at Goldman Sachs in New York City. Impressed by the organisation, she quit her lucrative job at age 24 to bring JA to Nigeria, where it now reaches more than 100,000 young people annually, before going on to head up JA’s operations across the continent.

Snehar Shah

CEO of Moringa School, Kenya

Snehar Shah is CEO of Moringa School in Kenya, a learning accelerator committed to closing the skills gap in Africa’s job markets by delivering transformative tech-based learning in Software Engineering, Data Science, Cybersecurity, and Product Design to jobseekers, before connecting them with local and international employers in need of talent. Shah is now scaling the EdTech company across Africa.

Mary Metcalfe

Former policymaker & CEO of Programme to Improve Learning Outcomes (PILO), South Africa

Mary Metcalfe is a South African educationist, activist, and Executive Director of the Programme to Improve Learning Outcomes (PILO), an NGO whose work impacts 3 million learners. Metcalfe is a highly respected leader and a passionate advocate for equal education who has been instrumental in developing South African education policy.

Laura Kakon

Chief Growth & Strategy Officer of Honoris United Universities, Morocco

Laura Kakon, from Morocco, is the Chief Growth and Strategy Officer of Honoris United Universities, the first and largest pan-African private higher education network committed to transforming lives through relevant education for lifetime success.

Martha Muhwezi

Executive Director of FAWE, Uganda

Martha Muhwezi from Uganda is Executive Director of the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE), a pan-African NGO working in 33 countries to empower girls and women through gender-responsive education.

Rogers Patrick Kamugisha

Country Director, Educate!, Rwanda

Rogers Patrick Kamugisha is the Country Director of Educate! in Rwanda, the largest youth skills provider in East Africa. Educate! tackles youth unemployment by partnering with schools and governments to equip young people in Africa with the skills to attain further education, overcome gender inequities, start businesses, get jobs, and drive development in their communities.

Sara Ruto

Former Chief Administrative Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Kenya & former CEO of the PAL Network, Kenya

Sara Ruto is the former Chief Administrative Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Kenya, and former CEO of the PAL Network - a South-South network of organisations in Africa, South Asia and Central America undertaking large-scale, citizen-led assessments and actions to improve foundational literacy and numeracy. Dr Ruto impact’s has been felt across her three decades in academia, civil society and government. Her work on education reform in Kenya saw her awarded the ‘Elder of the Burning Spear’ (EBS) Presidential Award in 2019.

Jean-Claude Nkulikiyimfura

Executive Director at Agahozo Shalom Youth Village, Rwanda

Jean-Claude Nkulikiyimfura is Executive Director of Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village (ASYV) in Rwanda, an organisation that empowers orphaned and vulnerable youth to build lives of dignity and contribute to a better world. Nkulikiyimfura was born a refugee in Burundi. His parents were both orphaned and fled Rwanda in 1961, but taught their children that they would one day return to Rwanda and restore justice and dignity for all. Nkulikiyimfura did exactly that after the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi and began working to fulfil this promise.

Grace Matlhape

CEO of SmartStart, South Africa

Grace Matlhape is CEO of SmartStart in South Africa, a social franchise that seeks to ensure every young child has access to a quality early learning programme in preparation for the opportunities ahead. Matlhape built SmartStart from the ground up into South Africa’s largest network of home-based early learning practitioners with more than 9,000 practitioners and 60,000 children.

Mary Ashun

Principal of Ghana International School, Ghana

Mary Ashun is Principal of Ghana International School (GIS), an independent not-for-profit school that provides an internationally diverse experience which instils mutual understanding, promotes holistic development, and teaches life skills to produce responsible global citizens.

Basuti Bolo

Endowed Chair Educational Technologies, Africa University

Basuti Bolo serves as Endowed Chair of Educational Technologies at Africa University and is the Founder and CEO of GoToSpace, whose ambitions to empower women and girls reach far beyond Africa and to the stars themselves.

Cyrille Nkontchou

Founder and Chairman, Enko Education

Cyrille Nkontchou is Founder and Chairman of Enko Education, a fast-growing network of African International schools that provides affordable quality education to African students and opens up access to the world's best universities.

Felix Malombe

Executive Director and Lead Trainer, STEAMLabs Africa

Felix Malombe is Executive Director of STEAMLabs Africa, in Kenya, which trains students and educators on STEM education, the Sustainable Development Goals, environmental sustainability, and ICT integration in education.

Folawe Omikunle

Chief Executive Officer, Teach For Nigeria

Folawe Omikunle is the Chief Executive Officer of Teach For Nigeria, whose inspirational work has revolutionised the education non-profit sector in Nigeria.

H.E. Jakaya Kikwete

Former President of Tanzania and Chair of the Board of Directors, Global Partnership for Education

H.E. Jakaya Kikwete is the former President of Tanzania, serving from 2005-2015, and Chair of the Global Partnership for Education, the world’s only partnership and fund focused on providing quality education to children in lower-income countries.

Jide Martin

CEO, Comic Republic

Jide Martin is the Founder and CEO of Comic Republic, in Nigeria, Africa's largest publisher of independent comic books and the continent’s first digital comic book company.

John Mugo

Executive Director, Zizi Afrique Foundation

John Mugo is Chief Executive of Zizi Afrique Foundation, in Kenya, a not-for-profit committed to improving learning outcomes for the children and young people who are furthest behind by nurturing skills for learning, living, and working.

Musu Bakoto Sawo

National Coordinator and Law Lecturer, Think Young Women

Musu Bakoto Sawo is National Coordinator of Think Young Women, a female-led non-profit organisation that aims to inspire and empower young women in Gambia.

Noella Coursaris Musunka

Founder and CEO, Malaika Foundation

Noella Coursaris Musunka is Founder and CEO of the Georges Malaika Foundation, a grassroots non-profit that empowers girls and their communities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo through a school, community centre, technical classes, wells and an agriculture programme all working together as an ecosystem impacting thousands of lives.

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