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Harmony of Empowerment: Unlocking the Potential of Education!

ECM Cohort 3 Graduation

A vibrant sound of combined voices from all parts of Africa fills the room, chanting and ululating as they walk up to the stage. They beautifully depict the powerful significance of music in the African context! Music holds immense cultural and social value across the continent and serves as a unifying force, transcending language barriers and cultural differences. Whether it’s a joyous celebration, an expression of pain and protest, or a lively festivity, music provides a common platform for Africans to connect and communicate their emotions.

In Africa, singing and music-making are deeply rooted in tradition and history. It is used not only for entertainment but also as a means of storytelling, passing down wisdom, and preserving cultural heritage. It fosters a sense of belonging and community among diverse groups, forging bonds beyond mere verbal communication. It becomes a medium for expressing collective concerns, advocating for change, and raising awareness about pressing issues.

The harmonious resonance of voices joined in song by the Education Changemakers Cohort 3 participants amplifies the strength of the message and encourages solidarity in the face of challenges.

The enthusiasm and support they show for each other as they are recognised and called up on stage, demonstrates the power of a collective winning spirit. Despite coming from different parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, they share a common vision of advancing education in the region. 46 participants from 14 Sub-Saharan Africa countries have united for this cause. This is a testament to their dedication and commitment to making a positive impact on education.

Each member’s success is celebrated by the entire group, emphasising the deep sense of camaraderie and shared purpose they have developed during their time together. This collective winning spirit highlights the belief that their individual achievements contribute to the greater success, within education.

They understand that the positive change brought about by one participant can resonate across the entire group and ultimately benefit education in Africa as a whole. Their spirit of collective winning goes beyond personal accolades and transcends any form of competition. Instead, it emphasises the strength of their shared purpose and the belief that their collective efforts will lead to meaningful and sustainable improvements in education across Sub-Saharan Africa.

We celebrated the accomplishments of these 46 leaders in a graduation ceremony in Pretoria, South Africa, this July.

The Education Changemakers Programme emphasises leadership development, with each participant walking away with a renewed sense of leadership from the programme. Collaboration and networking are crucial for success. The participants have engaged with fellow participants exploring opportunities for collaboration and potential partnerships for individual initiatives.

As these graduates embark on their respective journeys to advance education in Africa, the combination of their newfound leadership skills, collaborative mindset, and expanded network will undoubtedly equip them to make a lasting and positive impact on the region’s educational landscape. The ripple effect of their collective efforts has the potential to transform communities and empower future generations, building a stronger and more prosperous Africa.

The ECM programme offers additional support and opportunities for the top 10 participants, recognising their exceptional contributions and potential to significantly impact the education sector. Congratulations to all the participants as well as the top three ECM Grant recipients. Maggie Letseka, Betty Chihota, and Khumbulani Cele for their remarkable initiatives! These changemakers exemplify the spirit of innovation and dedication to improving African education.


“In your quest to develop the education sector, be grounded in who you are and how you relate to others. Compassion and humility will take you far” – Mpolokeng Pitso, Assistant Director of Finance and Operations, Trevor Noah Foundation

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