With millions of school-going age children worldwide still without access to education, it is small wonder the annual World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) keeps drawing global attention. Anver Versi was at th e 2012 summit in the Qatari capital Doha where, once again, seeking solutions to educational needs was at the heart of the agenda.
Is education, from primary school through to university, designed to produce well-rounded, thoughtful individuals with an interest in the world around them; or a form of training for the world of work? Most of us would agree that it should embody elements of both but there are real fears that much of the education on offer in Africa is not adequately preparing young people for work. Neil Ford examines the issues.
READ International began life in 2004 as a small project based at Nottingham University UK, founded by a group of friends and myself. Now there are over 1,000 student volunteers involved, operating from a network of over 50 university sites across the UK and we have sent over a million books to school children in Africa.
For the fourth year, experts from all walks of life and around the world gather again in Doha for the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), to debate and seek solutions to the challenges of 21st-century education worldwide. New African will be there to cover the event.
Arend van Wamelen, a principal for the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), was one of the authors of Lions on the Move: The progress and potential of African economies, a 2010 report that outlined Africa’s growth surge. A new report from the MGI, Africa at work: Job creation and inclusive growth, also co-authored by the Johannesburg-based Van Wamelen, shows that the continent must create wage-paying jobs more quickly to sustain the successes described by Lions on the Move and ensure that growth benefits the majority of its peoples. He spoke to Stephen Williams at the OECD Forum on Africa, held in Paris.
Although to many Ghanaians Joyce Dongotey-Padi needs no introduction, interviewing this formidable woman reveals how Ghana, and Africa by and large, is still failing its widows – something that Joyce, through her organisation the Widows Alliance Network (WANE) has passionately chosen to do something about, using education to empower them. She spoke to New African.
The African Leadership Network conference in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, attracted 300 young Africans, the new breed of emerging leaders. Creating dreams, realising potential, and delivering change were at the heart of the discussions. As one of the conference founders put it: "Only with our own resources can Africans finally stand on their own feet". It was one of the most inspiring events of 2011.
Fred Swaniker was always destined to end up in education. His grandmother founded a school in her native Ghana, his mother followed in these footsteps by founding her own school in her adopted Botswana and when he reached the tender age of 18 she gave Fred his first taste of running a school by making him the principal for a short while. A few years back this entrepreneur's dream project finally took shape as the African Leadership Academy, a world-class, pan-African secondary college, opened its doors. He talked to New African about his visionary initiative - to train the continent's next generation of leaders.