Presenting the First Education Changemaker Cohort

The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Regional Leadership Center Southern Africa (RLC-SA) and the Trevor Noah Foundation launched the Education Changemakers Leadership programme on the evening of the 10 February 2020. The launch welcomed fifty young leaders from thirteen countries across Southern Africa selected to participate in the programme. The launch at the UNISA Graduate School of Business Leadership had in attendance several inspiring trailblazers sharing their best advice with the young leaders.

At the launch, Principal & Vice-Chancellor of UNISA, Mandla Makhanya highlighted that “the education sector is under the spotlight especially now for both its failures and successes and that this program will drive and bring about positive change in the education system.” John Groarke, USAID Southern Africa Mission Director, at the launch, encouraged the Changemakers to seize this opportunity, get the most out of it and use it to contribute to change in the education space. He commended UNISA, the Trevor Noah Foundation and the RLC-SA for having the commitment and confidence in the Education Changemakers. Our Board Member, Ryan Harduth, applauded the Foundation for their accomplishments given the organisation’s infancy, including this milestone partnership with YALI RLC-SA. He reinforced the critical role educators play in shaping our future nation and looks forward to following the journeys of the fifty selected Changemakers over the next few months.

In sharing her leadership journey with the Changemakers, Keynote Speaker Lilian Barnard, Managing Director at Microsoft South Africa, touched on the importance of artificial intelligence, its transformative impact on life and what that will mean for the education sector. She stressed that changing from the industrial revolution is inevitable, not optional, and therefore, she encouraged the Education Changemakers to be bold and fearless and ensure they arrive at the finish line of their success.

For the Education Changemakers, being selected to participate as the first cohort was already a feat. Hand-picked from over 2000 applications, the fifty young leaders represented thirteen Southern African countries and represented various perspectives within the education sector. Here is a snapshot of our Education Changemakers:

Congratulations to all the participants!

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