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FAWE-ADEA competition rewards efforts to promote girls’ education in Africa

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Winners of the most significant change stories award pose for a picture with ADEA and FAWE staff after the ceremony. Photo credit: FAWE / Photo editing: ADEA

An award ceremony for top significant change stories following a competition to identify innovative projects that have contributed to advancing girls’ education in Africa was held in Nairobi recently.

The July 7, 2016 event was organised by the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) in partnership with the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA). The three most innovative stories were selected based on the criteria of access to education, retention and performance.

Agnes Feima Kenneh from Sierra Leone won first place, bagging US $2,750. The award was presented by FAWE Executive Director Hendrina Doroba. Kenneh thanked FAWE and ADEA for creating a platform to reward efforts seeking to improve girl’s education. “I am a beneficiary of FAWE’s program that provided education to children in Sierra Leone who were displaced during the war,” she said. “I appreciate such gatherings that bring people together to brainstorm on how to better girl’s education because this will help other girls like me who are faced with many challenges in their pursuit for education, and are thinking of dropping out of school.”

The 1st runner-up, Chiedza Child Care Centre from Zimbabwe, won $1,800, which was presented by the Coordinator of the ADEA Working Group on Education Management and Policy Support (WGEMPS), Makha Ndao, on behalf of ADEA’s Executive Secretary, Oley Dibba-Wadda. Makha reiterated ADEA’s commitment to collaborate with ministries of Education, FAWE and representatives of Non-Governmental Organisations and civil society organisations to ensure these “top innovative programmes” create substantial impact not only in the winners’ respective countries but across the continent.

Fatoumata Cisse from Senegal was the 2nd runner-up, winning $900. The award was presented by a representative of the Ministry of Education of Mali, Konate Kounadi Keita. 

The most significant change story competition was launched in November 2015. The initiative involves six countries, namely Mali, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Each country submitted its top three stories. A total of 18 stories were reviewed and ranked by FAWE and ADEA. These were later submitted to a panel of three judges who were representatives from the Ministries of Education for Burundi and Kenya, as well as the UNESCO office in Kenya.

The findings of the competition will provide basis for the development of a compendium of best practices on gender equity in education and training programmes.

Thirty-three people attended the ceremony, among them representatives of the ministries of Education for Burundi, Mali, Senegal, Uganda and Zambia, in addition to officials of ADEA and FAWE national chapters.


  • Stefano De Cupis, Senior communication officer, ADEA, T. +225 20 26 42 61,
  • Martha Muhwezi, Senior Programme Co-ordinating Officer, FAWE, 
  • Chemwi  Mutiwanyuka, Programme Analyst, ADEA’s Working Group on Education Management and Policy Support (WGEMPS), 


About the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE):

FAWE is a pan-African Non-Governmental Organisation working in 33 African countries to empower girls and women through gender-responsive education. FAWE was founded in 1992 by five African women ministers of education and it was created on the staunch belief that women in decision-making positions have the potential to make a significant difference.

About the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA):

The Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) is a forum for policy dialogue, composed of all the 54 Ministers of Education in Africa. Established in 1988 at the instigation of the World Bank Group, it has evolved into a pan-African institution based within the African Development Bank Group (AfDB). ADEA’s work has expanded to focus more on the development of skills and competencies across all the education sub-sectors. It envisions a “high-quality African education and training system that is geared towards the promotion of critical knowledge and skills for accelerated and sustainable development in Africa.”

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