Simi Nwogugu calls on Rwandan changemakers to step forward for Africa Education Medal 2024

On 8 March 2024 at 04:15

Simi Nwogugu, the CEO of Junior Achievement Africa (JA Africa) and winner of the Africa Education Medal 2023, has called on changemakers in Rwanda and across the continent to step forward for the Africa Education Medal 2024 as nominations opened. This prestigious award, founded by T4 Education and HP, stands as Africa’s foremost recognition in the field of education.

The Africa Education Medal recognises the tireless work of those who are transforming education across the continent – celebrating the stories of those who have lit the spark of change so others will be inspired to take up the torch. It is given to an outstanding individual who has demonstrated impact, leadership, and advocacy in the field of education.

The winner of this year’s Africa Education Medal will be given a global platform to support their work and, in recognition of the urgent need to solve the teacher recruitment and retention crisis to tackle learning gaps, will be entitled to nominate a school of their choice to receive membership of T4 Education’s new Best School to Work programme – an independent, evidence-based mechanism to certify schools for their culture and help them transform their working environment to attract and retain the best teachers.

In its third year, the Africa Education Medal is the oldest of the three World Education Medals established by T4 Education and HP. This year saw the launch of the new Asia Education Medal and Latin America Education Medal.

Last year, two Rwandans – Rogers Patrick Kamugisha, Country Director of Educate!, and Jean-Claude Nkulikiyimfura, Executive Director of Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village – were named as Top 10 finalists for the Africa Education Medal 2023. When Nkulikiyimfura was announced as a finalist, he won praise from Academy Award-winning actress Charlize Theron.

Simi Nwogugu, CEO of JA Africa has said that winning the Africa Education Medal 2023 was a tremendous honour that has drawn significant attention to the important work done at JA Africa, equipping young Africans across the continent for employment and financial independence.

"The Africa Education Medal is a prestigious recognition, shining a spotlight on education champions in Africa. I am aware of the numerous changemakers on our continent pushing boundaries to shape a better future for our youth. To fellow inspirational leaders, I encourage you to step forward. Apply for the Africa Education Medal in 2024; let your stories inspire thousands more. Together, we can continue to transform lives through education and pave the way for a brighter African future,” she enthused.

Mayank Dhingra, Senior Education Business Leader at HP, observed that despite the progress made towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals, significant learning gaps persist in Africa and COVID has greatly exacerbated learning poverty.

He however expressed hope to address them if leaders from across the continent come together, with everyone sharing their expertise to help build a continent in which every child receives a quality education.

“HP has a bold goal to accelerate digital equity for 150 million people globally by 2030. Only by joining forces between NGOs, government, educators and businesses can we truly improve the education environment. The Africa Education Medal brings together the leaders who are making a real difference to African education, whose tireless work deserves to be celebrated,” Nwogugu noted.

Vikas Pota, Founder and CEO of T4 Education has also said: "A good education is not only the key to unlocking the potential of Africa’s next generation, it’s a right. The Africa Education Medal honours all those who are working to make that a reality.

One of the most important things we can do to improve education in Rwanda and around the world is to solve the teacher recruitment and retention crisis. That’s why the winner of the Africa Education Medal 2024 will not only be given a platform to advocate for their work, but the right to nominate a school to join our Best School to Work programme, enabling schools to build a culture in which education flourishes because teachers thrive.”

The Africa Education Medal is open to individuals working to improve early childhood, K-12, vocational and university education ranging from educators or school leaders, civil society leaders, public servants and government officials, political leaders, entrepreneurs and business leaders to technologists.

Besides, nominees must demonstrate their contribution in different key areas of education including; 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
and championing the rights of education stakeholders.

The Top 10 finalists for the Africa Education Medal will be announced in August and the winner will be announced in September. Nominees will be assessed by a Jury comprising prominent individuals based on rigorous criteria.

Simi Nwogugu has called on Rwandan changemakers to step forward for the Africa Education Medal 2024.