African Innovators in the education sector took center stage at the 2021 RewirEd summit, which took place at the Expo 2020 Dubai. The summit, led by Dubai Cares, and delivered in partnership with global stakeholders; presented an opportunity for the global education community to gather as a collective to scale and jumpstart some of the positive change the sector wants to see in education.
The African Union presented to the world, gathered at Expo 2020 Dubai, this year’s finalists in the Innovating Education in Africa (IEA) challenge. A full circle moment where Five (5) innovators who made it to the finale, having outshinned 50 of their peers in the preliminary rounds; had the priviledge of pitching their ideas to a global audience.
The Innovating Education in Africa (IEA) is a flagship programme of the African Union Commission and Partners, intended to identify and promote practical social and technological innovations aimed at enhancing access, quality, relevance and inclusion in education in order to release the potential for empowerment, employability and inventiveness, as stipulated in the Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA 16-25).
Since its establishment in 2018, the IEA program has identified 140 innovations from over 40 African countries and invested up to 500,000 USD to promote and support their growth.
The Acting Head of the Education Division, Mr. Hambani Masheleni, highlighted the critical need for adopting innovations within Africa’s education systems and the need to ensure quality, relevance, and inclusion from the early years. He underscored the importance of public-private partnerships to build and sustain ecosystems that support scaling of innovations and education outcomes, to drive Africa’s development agenda under Agenda 2063.
Out of the five finalists, three innovators were awarded grants that will be used to undertake pilot projects in collaboration with African Union Member States, to create reference points for scaling innovation in education and training.
Ghana’s Rudolf Ampopo, CEO of Craft Education, a teletherapy platform that allows African parents and teachers to help children with learning difficulties, such as autism, to develop proper communication, social interaction and academic skills so they can thrive in school and life; received a $100 000 reward and injection.
DR Congo’ Elijah Lubala, Co-founder of SOLAR-FI, collected a $70 000 reward towards their project. A “School-in-a-Light,” for schools that have connectivity issues, offering simple & inexpensive solar mobile Wi-Fi hotspot access points that provide free lighting, prepaid internet access & educational prepaid virtual products and services to students.
Finally, Samson W Muwanguzi of Yiya Air Science, received $40 000 towards their innovation which provides remote learning via widely accessible technology – enabling rural Ugandan students to learn Mathematics and Science, remotely, using widely accessible keypad phones and radios.
Speaking of the innovators’ remarkable achievements, Mr. Charles Chiumya, The AU’s Expo 2020 Deputy Commissioner General, said “it is great to witness Africans showcasing to the world our vast capabilities, presenting a narrative of an empowered youth dedicated to exploring tangible solutions for their communities, well ahead of the global curve. Congratulations to all the winners, and to those who participated throughout the challenge.”
The public, media and all other interested parties can keep up-to-date with the latest out of Dubai as well as get all the necessary information surrounding the AUC lead activities/events by visiting the official AU at Expo 2020