Africa-America Institute 30th Annual Awards Gala


“Powering Africa’s Future through Regional and Global Partnerships”

September 22, 2016, Gotham Hall, NYC at 7:30pm

The Africa-America Institute is a leading New York based international education and policy organization dedicated to advancing education and professional training for Africans, and promoting engagement between Africa and America through education, training, and dialogue.  The Award Gala is held annually during the opening week of the United Nations General Assembly.

Events of the Gala:

  • The Republic of Rwanda will receive the AAI 2016 Regional Integration Award for their efforts and support of the African Union’s “single African passport.” The African Union Passport was formally launched in late July during the 27th African Union Summit in Kigali, Rwanda.  The passport will allow for visa-free travel for citizens of African countries to other African states and free trade of goods.  Expectations are high for the passport that should create new opportunities for economic growth across the continent.  The Republic of Rwanda is also being recognized for its efforts to build the capacity of its high education institutions through initiatives like the collaboration with Carnegie-Mellon University.  His Excellency Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, will accept the AAI 2016 Regional Integration Award on behalf of the people of the Republic of Rwanda.
  • Businessman and philanthropist Aliko Dangote will be receiving the 2016 African Business Leader Award. He is the President and Chief Executive of the Dangote Group.
  • The Second Annual State of Education in Africa Conference was held on September 2, 2015 at the InterContinental Hotel Lagos in Lagos, Nigeria. The conference evaluated and measured the progress of primary, secondary, tertiary, technical, and vocational education in Africa.  It explored thematic, country, and sector approaches to strengthening the capacity of Africans and educational institutions.  The conference brought together educators and innovators from Africa and the US. 

The following topics were discussed:

Panel 1: Teacher Training: Equipping new educators with the tools they need for success.  Quality education cannot be done without qualified teachers.  The acute shortage of qualified teachers has been identified as one of the biggest challenges to achieving education at all.

Panel 2: Reforming Science and Technology Education in Africa: Energizing and Unlocking Bright Minds for a Bright Future. Rapid changes in the world have redefined the broad skill set students need to be adequately prepared for today’s society.  Well trained graduates in science and technology can help their countries find effective, cost efficient, homegrown solutions to pressing development problems related to poverty, food security, climate change, urbanization, and health.

Panel 3: Spotlight on vocational and technical training and higher education: What is the contribution of the African university in today’s educational climate? Over the past 25 years higher education systems in Africa have only received nominal support and investment.  Africa’s public universities need to maintain their relevancy.  Universities must provide a place of excellence and innovation.  Vocational and technical schools must ensure that the workforce of tomorrow is ready for the challenges of 21st century technology.

Panel 4: Early Childhood Education: Helping the most at-risk succeed.  Appropriate investment in early childhood development benefits society as a whole.  It lays the groundwork for responsible citizenship, economic prosperity, healthy communities, and successful parenting of the next generation.  School-aged children in Africa perform poorly and fail to acquire math and literacy skills; a possible consequence of the lack of early education.

Panel 5: Global Best Practices in Education. Countries increasing realize that education needs to be about quality covering everything from the physical condition of schools to better training for teachers and staff.  Also critical is the availability of textbooks, modern facilities that include computers and tablets, and a balanced curriculum to achieve the knowledge, skills, and abilities to connect ideas and concepts across all disciplines and be well-prepared for a globalized knowledge-based world.

For Details See Here

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