Leading business leaders and professionals - headlined by the founders of Akon Lighting Africa - meet to examine market-based solutions to bring light and electricity to millions in Africa NEW YORK, September 16, 2015 -- On September 23rd, Africa 2030 with its partners Chadbourne & Parke LLP will host a special event to examine the role of business in ensuring affordable light and power for the millions of African people without access to the power grid. Africa 2030 is an initiative to promote and strengthen Africa’s enterprise-led future. Africa 2030 is presented by the Avant Garde Network and Gobee Group.

Read more: Africa 2030: Akon Lighting Africa

There has been a recent surge of interest in people across the world who are keen to learn more about how to become angel investors and get involved in creating world class companies. But the rise of African angel investing ecosystem requires more than the money.
There is still talk of angel investing as something people do for reasons other than getting returns and that is very dangerous because it fails to attract local capital that can see big returns in other areas including the banks or government bonds that are less risky.

Read more: 5 reasons to become an angel investor in Africa

The Nigeria Higher Education Foundation (NHEF) is pleased to announce it will hold its 2015 gala on September 30th at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, New York, NY. The event will be a festive occasion as the NHEF celebrates its accomplishments, looks towards its future and joins Nigeria in celebrating its 55th Independence.
This year’s Gala theme is “Unlocking Nigeria’s Potential”. The Awards gala will highlight the capability of Nigerians to transform and contribute to Nigeria’s economic development.
At this year’s gala, which will be chaired by Jide Zeitlin, Chairman of Coach Inc., we will salute individuals and organizations that are contributing positively to Nigeria’s progress and prosperity on all fronts:
Awards will be given to:
Professor Attahiru Jega,
Professor Attahiru Jega, the formidable former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission for his role in preserving the integrity of Nigeria’s democratic process;
Hakeem Belo-Osagie
Hakeem Belo-Osagie, one of Nigeria’s most successful global entrepreneurs and a titan in Nigeria’s business landscape for his exemplar leadership in business and philanthropy;
Drs. Sola and Funmi Olopade
Drs. Sola and Funmi Olopade, Directors at the Global health Center at the University of Chicago and pioneers in medicine; and
Tom DiNapoli
Tom DiNapoli, Comptroller of New York State and head of the $180 billion Common Retirement Fund, an organization that is a pioneer in investing in Nigeria.
The Nigeria Higher Education Foundation (NHEF) Founded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in 2004. Our mission is to help develop the next generation of Nigerian Leaders to address and solve Nigeria’s most pressing social problems, to enable economic development and to promote a lasting and stable democracy. Promoting excellence in higher education by developing a world-class higher education sector is critical to our success.
Please join us as we not only recognize our past accomplishments but also inaugurate new programs such as the Scholars Program which seeks to increase the number of Nigerians in the global investment industry.
For more information, please click here and for ticket information, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Top Educators and Innovators to Gather for AAI’s 2nd Annual State of Education in Africa Conference in Lagos, Nigeria
Educators and innovators from across Africa and the U.S. will gather for a solutions-driven global education conference, convened by The Africa-America Institute, aimed at putting forth a bold agenda to improving the educational landscape in Africa.
AAI’s Second Annual State of Education in Africa conference, co-sponsored by The Ford Foundation and with support from the World Bank, will be held on September 2, at the InterContinental Hotel in Lagos, Nigeria. 
Policy-makers, educators, administrators, philanthropists and other stakeholders will meet for a 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 State of Education in Africa conference is built on the inaugural State of Education conference held in 2014 at the Ford Foundation in New York City.
While some of the fastest growing economies in the world are in Africa, UNESCO statistics show that prosperity is slow in trickling down to the greater population as some 30 million children in sub-Saharan Africa were not enrolled in school in 2011.
Startling statistics reveal that 42 percent of African school children will drop out of school early, with about one in six leaving before Grade 2. Overall, more than two in five children who start school will never reach the last grade of primary education, UNESCO cited.
“The African education system stands at a pivotal crossroad. The State of Education in Africa conference seeks to elevate discussions on how education is an engine of economic growth and development in Africa and to mobilize a strong commitment to implementing innovative solutions and practical interventions to transform the education system,” said Amini Kajunju, President and CEO of The Africa-America Institute. 
“As the world’s most youthful continent, the working age population is expected to grow at a rapid pace at more than 10 million each year,” said Kajunju. “African young people must be educated and equipped with the skills and knowledge for jobs necessary to sustain economic growth and make the continent competitive in a knowledge-based economy.”
Some of the world’s leading education experts will serve as keynote speakers and panelists at the annual education conference. Panel discussions will range 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”. (Check out the stellar line up of panelists here.)
Patrick Utomi, Founder/CEO at Centre for Values in Leadership, will serve as keynote speaker where he will speak about how to revitalize Africa’s educational system.
Innovations in education to improve learning outcomes continue to flourish throughout Africa. The conference will feature its first-ever PitchFest, an innovative competition that put forth cutting-edge ideas, tools, information and technologies that can help bring about a better educational system in Africa. 
For more information and to register, please visit the State of Education in Africa Event Page and www.aaionline.org.
Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter! Hashtag: #SOE2015
ABOUT AAI:        Founded in 1953, The Africa-America Institute (AAI) is a premier U.S.-based international organization dedicated to strengthening human capacity of Africans and promoting the continent’s development through higher education and skills training, convening activities, program implementation and management. 
How Young Kenyan Entrepreneurs Can Benefit From the Spotlight of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES).  
Last month, President Barack Obama participated in the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Nairobi, Kenya. Entrepreneurship remains a top priority for the President as he enters the final lap of his second term in office. He founded GES as a platform to facilitate exchanges of views and ideas between global leaders and entrepreneurs. It is the first time since its launch in 2009 that GES – first announced in Obama’s historic “New Beginning Speech”  in Cairo - is being held in Sub-Saharan Africa. The 2014 edition was held in Marrakesh, Morocco – in essence, GES has Africa written all over it. 

Read more: Beyond the Euphoria of #GESKenya2015

The Cowbell Mathematics Completion is one that many passionate Nigerian math geniuses cite as the pinnacle of their secondary school experience. It’s an annual math competition in which secondary school students across the nation send their best and brightest with hopes of winning the grand prize. The schools hold a preliminary exam—sending the two best students to represent the school in the Competition.

Read more: The Dangers of Discriminating Against Girls in STEM

As a Nigerian PhD student in the humanities, I am often confronted with a myriad of facial expressions, ranging from confusion to sheer disbelief and wonder, when I tell people that I study Africa. These facial expressions are accompanied by questions such as: Why study Africa? What do you plan on doing with that? Or, aren’t you African?  Most times, I usually respond with my proposed career options, professor or something in the UN. Long after though, I think to myself:When will we eventually get tired of non-Africans studying Africa and coming to far-fetched conclusions about us?  When do we reclaim our continent?  And why not me?  After all, to study Africa is not only to study Africa, it is to study the world.  Africa has and continues to play a decisive role in the development of our modern civilizations from time immemorial. And I replay these thoughts over and over again in my head, hoping that someone will see the connections between the invisible/blurry dots because I get it.
A majority of us (read: Africans abroad) were not exposed to the plethora of career choices and life-long passions outside the traditional professions of medicine, law, engineering, and banking.  According to most of our parents, these professions would bring us respect and financial security. And for the most part, they do because they are important and necessary for the growth and development of our societies. Especially when we take into consideration the post-independence tasks of nation-building and economic development, we see the utility of these careers in shaping what our predecessors hoped to be the new Africa.  Furthermore, given the relative failure of our democratic and economic ambitions in the 1980s and 1990s, our parents migrated outwards in order to realize their personal visions of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And it was those same career pathways that opened doors for them to settle and successfully establish themselves in a strange land. 
But what about the rest of us —whose passions, dreams and desires never quite fit within the lines of the coloring book?  Those who want to be creatives: dancers, artists, filmmakers, writers, musicians, fashion designers, and etcetera. They too have always impacted and transformed our social landscapes in tremendous ways although, now more than ever before, more individuals are gaining access to realize their dreams.  African fashions are gracing runaways internationally, African writers are being featured in contemporary pop music, and African actors are becoming more prominent in Hollywood. Given the reality of this globalized era, every and anything is rapidly becoming possible. The possibilities are indeed infinite in this era of packaging (like my naija people will say) because it is all about how you brand yourself and communicate your value to the world. 
Therefore, now is the time for us non-traditional people to truly flourish and display our talents. Now is also the time for us to build those collaborative networks across disciplinary and professional boundaries that will transform, impact and thrust Africa into the limelight for good. With hope that, in doing so we change the entire world.In order for us to accomplish this, Africa needs dynamic thought-leaders, who are unafraid of new ways of thinking and being. Africa needs passionate and dedicated individuals who are willing to revolutionize the state of the continent.  Africa needs every single talent and skill that we can offer.
Kányinsọ́lá Ọbáyàn is a writer and cultural ambassador. Currently, she is a PhD Student at Cornell University, where she is using her research on gender, femininity and sexual politics in Southwestern Nigeria to imagine alternative possibilities for Nigeria's future.


Johannesburg, South Africa - African Leadership Network Ventures (ALN Ventures), the African Leadership Network’s (ALN) pan-African accelerator for early-stage companies, recently began their nine-month bootcamp for their first class of entrepreneurs. ALN Ventures recently selected a group of 9 entrepreneurs from 275 applicants.

Read more: ALN Ventures Program Identifies 9 Promising African Entrepreneurs

International experts will call for African leaders to “leapfrog the shackles of convention” at a major education conference next month, in order to ensure that African economic growth is sustained by adequately trained young people. The programme for this year’s eLearning Africa, which is being co-organised by the African Union and co-hosted by the Government of Ethiopia, reflects the extraordinary breadth and pace of change underway in African education – and the challenge for new technology-based solutions to meet Africa’s growing demand for high quality education and training.

Read more: African leaders need to “leapfrog the shackles of convention”

My computer science class in secondary school was largely spent on social media sites (e.g., Facebook, MySpace, Hi5, etc.). However, I spent very little time learning how to code or other similar skills that could have been valuable to my classmates and myself. In the same vein, the use of technology and technology education across Africa is, to a large extent, still at its infancy. A study conducted by AT Kearney has shown that the mobile phone ecosystem in Africa has provided more than five million jobs and generated close to US$15 billion in government revenue in 2011 . It is therefore extremely likely that technology will play an important role in Africa realizing its potential.

Read more: Womenology: How African Women Can Lead in Tech