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Cambridge, HP seek edtech innovations in Africa to revolutionise education

Scheduled to commence in September, this seven-month HP Cambridge Partnership for Education EdTech Fellowship aims to enhance participants’ knowledge and skills to spearhead transformative EdTech initiatives within their education systems.
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In a groundbreaking initiative, Cambridge Partnership for Education and HP are turning their attention to Africa to discover cutting-edge educational technology (EdTech) leaders who can revolutionize learning.

The inaugural EdTech fellowship programme will welcome fellows from 13 Sub-Saharan African countries, including Botswana, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe (refer to the complete list of EdTech fellows below).

Scheduled to commence in September, this seven-month HP Cambridge Partnership for Education EdTech Fellowship aims to enhance participants’ knowledge and skills to spearhead transformative EdTech initiatives within their education systems.

The first cohort of EdTech fellows will focus on leveraging digital transformation to improve the quality and accessibility of education in Sub-Saharan Africa. By integrating technology into learning, these initiatives aim to create inclusive and prosperous societies while equipping young individuals with the necessary skills for their future careers.

Out of a pool of 400 applicants, Cambridge and HP meticulously selected the first group of fellows for the ‘HP Cambridge Partnership for Education EdTech Fellowship.’ This diverse cohort comprises government officials engaged in education, as well as leaders from private and nonprofit EdTech organiaations.

The fellowship programme developed by Cambridge and HP will cover various aspects, including inclusive EdTech solutions for marginalised groups, the role of artificial intelligence, and digital strategy, policy, and governance. In addition, the fellows will cultivate their leadership abilities while designing equitable solutions to challenges faced by their respective education systems, utilising user-centered design principles.

Given Africa’s rapid population growth, the influence of the initial fellows is anticipated to have a profound impact on global education. The cohort includes high-ranking government officials responsible for national digital education initiatives, collectively striving to enhance the learning experiences of over 120 million children in countries such as Botswana, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Uganda, and Zambia.

The programme will kick off with online studies next week, followed by a residential course held at Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge, UK, in September 2023. Over the course of seven months, the fellows will also receive personalised coaching and guidance.

Notable scholarship recipients joining the programme include Dr. Frances Alimigbe, Assistant Chief Education Officer at the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria. Dr. Frances plays a pivotal role in overseeing the activities of over 2 million teachers across 36 states, focusing on areas such as teacher selection, standards, and policy. Throughout the fellowship, Dr. Frances aims to address challenges related to infrastructure, tools, and digital proficiency among teachers, particularly in rural areas.

Dr. Frances expressed, “Being part of this fellowship will provide an invaluable network of contacts and ideas. It will serve as an immense database and resource for us to draw upon. Through the fellowship, we can establish a community of practice where best practices are shared across borders, fostering quality research ideas to enhance global EdTech transformation in teaching and learning.”

Among the fellows is Mrs. Catherine Agyapomaa Appiah-Pinkrah, Director of General Administration at the Ministry of Education in Ghana. She emphasized the importance of implementing reliable and credible strategies for quality assurance in their programs and policies. Mrs. Catherine believes that the fellowship will expose her to fresh perspectives, idea exchange, experiences, and best practices shared by fellow participants.

Jane Mann, the Managing Director of Cambridge Partnership for Education, acknowledged the significant responsibilities and strengths of the inaugural EdTech fellows. She highlighted their role in translating policies into actionable initiatives. Supported by tutors, coaches, and each other, the fellows will collaborate to establish robust EdTech ecosystems that promote grassroots innovations, effective evaluation methods, and successful scaling, ultimately combating the existing learning crises and enhancing the resilience of education systems for the future.

Mayank Dhingra, Senior Education Business Leader at HP, emphasized the program’s goal of fostering cross-border discussions and collaboration among emerging visionary leaders in diverse national contexts. By facilitating these interactions, the programme aims to address obstacles ranging from infrastructure limitations to curriculum content challenges.

The initial idea for the EdTech fellowship programme emerged during the AfricanBrains Summit held in Lusaka, Zambia, in 2022. Cambridge Partnership for Education partnered with HP to develop this pioneering initiative, led by Julia Citron, Head of Education Technology Solutions at Cambridge Partnership for Education. The Digital Education Futures Initiative (DEFI) at Hughes Hall, University of Cambridge, and Dr. Bjoern Hassler’s team at OpenDevEd, an EdTech-focused NGO, also provide support for the program.

HP Cambridge Partnership for Education EdTech Fellows:


– Nicodemus Merafhe, Chief Education Officer, Government of Botswana, Ministry of Education & Skills Development, the Department of ICT and Media Services


– Martha Shongwe, Chief Inspector for Secondary Education, Ministry of Education and Training


– Dr. Zelalem Assefa Azene, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), ICT and Digital Education, Ministry of Education


– Catherine Agyapomaa Appiah-Pinkrah, Director, General Administration, Ministry of Education
– Akwasi Addae-Boahene, Advisor to former Minister, Transforming Teaching, Education and Learning, T-Tel
– Miracule Daniel Gavor, Executive Director, Ghana Society for Education Technology
– Gyamfi Adwabour, Executive Director, Center for National Distance Learning and Open Schooling


– John Masika, Assistant Director – TVET Digital Transformation, Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority


– Dr. Joshua Valeta, Director of Open, Distance, and e-Learning, Ministry of Education


– Dr. Frances Alimigbe, Assistant Chief Education Officer, Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria
– Ayodele Odeogbola, Co-Founder, Hybrid Learning Specialist, TedPrime Support Initiative
– Dr. Adetola Salau, Political Aide to the Executive Governor of Lagos State on Education
– Soji Megbowon, Principal Education Officer/Lead Researcher, Lagos State Ministry of Education


– Bella Rwigamba, Chief Digital Officer, Ministry of Education

Sierra Leone

– Victor Abu Sesay, Director of Technology and Innovation, Ministry of Technical and Higher Education, Government of Sierra Leone

South Africa

– Dr. Neo Mothobi, Chief Education Specialist, Ministry of Education
– Roche Mogorosi, Chief Director – Schools Technology Support Services, Gauteng Department of Education
– Shunmugam Padayachee, Deputy Director General: Teachers, Education Human Resource and Institutional Development, Department of Basic Education, Pretoria, Republic of South Africa
– Emmanuel Pillay, CEO, iTMaster (PTY) Ltd
– Michael Mavimbela, Senior Education Specialist – eLearning, Mpumalanga Department of Education
– Adv. Jana Du Plooy, CEO, Acorn Education NPC / into space NPC


– Kenneth Bagarukayo, Commissioner Research and Development, Ministry of Information and Communications Technology


– George Mutale, Assistant Director for ICT, Ministry of Education


– Addi Mavengere, CEO, Learning Factory

Pan-Africa NGO

– Hakeem Subair, Chief Executive Officer, 1 Million Teachers

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