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African Digital Solutions to the Education Challenge of COVID-19

September 29, 2020


When COVID-19 hit the African continent, some schools had already been closed due to conflict, strikes, or worsening storms and floods. The COVID-19 crisis and subsequent lockdowns have sorely exacerbated the challenge of getting an education. Distance-learning initiatives have been established and teachers, districts and governments have been critical partners in this unprecedented experiment in remote learning. In this talk, Ghanaian entrepreneur Fred Swaniker of the Africa Leadership University, will discuss how groundbreaking digital solutions can support, and even ensure, a quality education—and turn the digital divide into dividends for Africa.

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    Fred Swaniker

    Founder of Africa Leadership University

    Fred Swaniker is on a mission to bring better leadership to Africa and the world. He is the founder and CEO of the African Leadership Group – an ecosystem of organizations that are catalyzing a new era of ethical, entrepreneurial African leaders. Over the past 15 years, he has founded and led the pre-university African Leadership Academy, the African Leadership University, the African Leadership Network and ALX — a next-generation leadership development and talent sourcing platform. Collectively, these endeavors aim to transform Africa by developing 3 million African leaders by 2035. He is also the founder of The Room, a talent agency for the world’s ambitious doers. Fred previously worked as a McKinsey consultant before earning an MBA from Stanford and becoming an entrepreneur. He is an Echoing Green Fellow; Aspen Institute Fellow; and most recently, was recognized as one of TIME Magazine’s most influential people of 2019. He holds honorary doctorate degrees from Macalester College, Middlebury College and Nelson Mandela University.


    Albert Zeufack

    Africa Region Chief Economist, World Bank

    Albert Zeufack, a Cameroonian national, is the World Bank Chief Economist for the Africa Region. He joined the World Bank in 1997 as a research economist in the macroeconomics division of the Research Department. Since then, he has held several positions in the East Asia and Pacific region, as well as in the Macroeconomics and Fiscal Management Global Practice with a particular focus on Africa, Europe and Central Asia. Mr. Zeufack’s main research interest is the micro-foundations of macroeconomics. Prior to his appointment as Chief Economist, he was Practice Manager in the Macroeconomics and Fiscal Management Global Practice and leader of the World Bank-wide Community of Practice for the Management of Natural Resources Rents, a group interested in sovereign wealth, fiscal rules, public spending patterns, and macro-modeling in natural resource-rich economies. Before joining the World Bank, Mr. Zeufack taught economics and applied econometrics at the University of Clermont-Ferrand, France, where he received his Ph.D. in economics. He holds a master’s degree in economic analysis and policy from the University of Yaoundé, Cameroon.


    Meskerem Mulatu

    Practice Manager, Education, World Bank

    Boutheina Guermazi

    Director, Digital Development, World Bank


  • Place: Online
  • Date: Tuesday, September 29, 2020
  • Time: 12:30 - 2:00 PM (ET)
YouTube Livestream