State of Education in Africa Conference Inspires Attendees to Transform Africa’s Education Sector

SOE Vocational Training

Panel discussion on “Spotlight on vocational and technical training and higher education: What is the contribution of the African university in today’s educational climate?” PHOTO CREDIT: Jokotade Remi-Adeoye

Educators and innovators from across Africa and the U.S. met for the Second Annual State of Education in Africa conference on September 2 in Lagos, Nigeria, to engage in insightful panel discussions and gain innovative and practical approaches to transforming Africa’s educational systems.

Policy-makers, educators, administrators, philanthropists and other stakeholders met for the daylong conference to assess the progress of education at all levels in Africa and identify opportunities and challenges in education on the African continent. The education conference was co-sponsored by The Ford Foundation and with support from the World Bank.

The the inaugural State of Education conference was held in 2014 at the Ford Foundation in New York City.

“Some of the world’s leading thinkers and practitioners in education are gathered here to discuss how, together, we can improve education at all levels on the continent,” said Amini Kajunju, President and CEO of The Africa-America Institute about the education conference.

STEM Panel

Panel discussion on “Reforming Science and Technology Education in Africa: Energizing and Unlocking Bright Minds for a Bright Future ” PHOTO CREDIT: Jokotade Remi-Adeoye

Panel discussions ranged from “Teacher Training”, “Global Best Practices in Education”, “Spotlight on Vocational and Technical Training and Higher Education”, “Early Childhood Education”, and “Reforming Science and Technology Education in Africa”.

As keynote speaker, Patrick Utomi, Founder/CEO at Centre for Values in Leadership, laid out a historical context to explain the current state of  education systems in Africa and spoke about the “pedagogy of the determined”, where young people become active learners in education.

Recognizing the shortage of software developers in Africa, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, Co-founder of Andela, spoke during the “Fireside Chat” about how his company trains African software developers and connects them with leading employers around the world, such as Microsoft, to meet the need for more technical talent.

Aboyeji said technology could be a vehicle to economic empowerment and to solving some of Africa’s challenges. “There is a growing need for young people to solve problems – African problems – using technology,” Aboyeji said.


Founder of Pass.NG Samson Abioye (c) and team were winners of the PitchFest competition. PHOTO CREDIT: Jokotade Remi-Adeoye

Pass_NG, an online tool that helps students prepare for Nigeria’s admission examinations, was the first place winner of the PitchFest competition. The PitchFest competition highlighted cutting-edge ideas, tools, information and technologies that can help bring about a better educational system in Africa.

The State of Education in Africa 2015 report, which was released at the conference, provided a snapshot of the progress and challenges in the African education sector. It was produced to guide some of the discussions that took place on panels and the keynote address at the State of Education in Africa conference.


Visit the 2nd Annual State of Education in Africa Conference Page for more details on the conference outcomes.

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag: #SOE2015


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