HP, Cambridge Turn To Africa For EdTech Innovations to Transform Learning

11 months ago
4 mins read

Twenty-five of Africa’s most influential education technology (EdTech) leaders will in September, head to Cambridge on a new fellowship programme from Cambridge Partnership for Education and HP.

The HP and Cambridge Partnership for Education EdTech Fellowship is a seven-month programme that aims to grow participants’ knowledge and skills to lead impactful EdTech transformations in their education systems.

The first cohort of EdTech fellows will work to increase the quality and equity of learning through digital transformation in education systems across Sub-Saharan Africa. Learning with technology has the potential to create societies that are not only more inclusive and prosperous but also ensure that young people are equipped with the skills they need for their careers. 

Cambridge and HP selected the group from 400 applications. The first cohort of their HP Cambridge Partnership for Education EdTech Fellowship includes government officials working in education and leaders from private and not-for-profit EdTech organisations.

The Cambridge HP fellowship programme will encompass inclusive EdTech for disadvantaged groups, the role of AI, and digital strategy, policy and governance. The fellows will also develop an equitable solution to an education system challenge using user-centred design while developing their leadership skills.

READ ALSO: Cambridge, HP Launch EdTech Fellowship

With Africa experiencing rapid population growth, the first fellows’ influence on global education is set to have a significant impact.

The first fellows include senior government officials responsible for national digital education initiatives, with the goal to improve learning for more than 120 million children across Botswana, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia.

The programme, which starts with online study next week, will include a residential course in September 2023, held at Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge in the UK, as well as one-to-one coaching over the course of seven months. 

Fellows joining the programme on scholarship include Dr Frances Alimigbe, Assistant Chief Education Officer at the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria. Dr Frances works with more than two million teachers across 36 states, including on teacher selection, standards and policy. Some of the key challenges she plans to focus on during the fellowship are infrastructure and tools and teachers’ digital skills and capacity in schools, especially in rural areas. “The wealth of contacts and ideas that will be acquired by being a member of the fellowship will form an immense database and viable resource for us to fall back to. With the fellowship, we form a community of practice where best practices are shared across borders and generate quality research ideas for improving EdTech transformation in teaching and learning globally.” said Dr Alimigbe.

Other fellows include Mrs. Catherine Agyapomaa Appiah-Pinkrah, Director of General Administration at the Ministry of Education in Ghana. She said: “There is the need to put in place reliable and credible fidelity of implementation strategies for quality assurance in all our programmes and policy implementation. I believe the fellowship will expose me to new ideas, exchange of ideas and experiences and best practices from other participants.”

Jane Mann, Managing Director of Cambridge Partnership for Education, said: “Our first EdTech fellows have huge remits, and huge strengths. They are responsible for turning policy into action. Supported by one another, tutors and coaches, the fellows will build healthier EdTech ecosystems where grassroots innovations are promoted, effectively evaluated and successfully scaled to help combat learning crises today and increase education system resilience for the future.”

Mayank Dhingra, Senior Education Business Leader at HP, said: “The next breakthroughs in EdTech will come from emerging visionary leaders in unique national contexts. This programme will enable cross-border discussions and development to help overcome barriers, from infrastructure to curriculum content.”

Cambridge Partnership for Education developed the inaugural EdTech fellowship programme with HP during the AfricanBrains Summit in Lusaka, Zambia in 2022.

The programme is led by Cambridge Partnership for Education Head of Education Technology Solutions Julia Citron. It is supported by the Digital Education Futures Initiative (DEFI) at Hughes Hall at the University of Cambridge and Dr Bjoern Hassler’s team at EdTech specialist NGO, OpenDevEd.


HP Cambridge Partnership for Education EdTech fellows:


  • Nicodemus Merafhe, Chief Education Officer, Government of Botswana, Ministry of Education & Skills Development, the Department of ICT and Media Services, Botswana


  • Martha Shongwe, Chief Inspector for Secondary Education, Ministry of Education and Training, Eswatini


  • Dr Zelalem Assefa Azene, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), ICT and Digital Education, Ministry of Education, Ethiopia


  • Catherine Agyapomaa Appiah-Pinkrah, Director, General Administration, Ministry of Education, Ghana
  • Akwasi Addae-Boahene, Advisor to former Minister, Transforming Teaching, Education and Learning, T-Tel, Ghana
  • Miracule Daniel Gavor, Executive Director of Ghana Society for Education Technology, Ghana
  • Gyamfi Adwabour, Executive Director, Centre for National Distance Learning and Open Schooling, Ghana


  • John Masika, Assistant Director – TVET Digital Transformation, Technical and Vocational Education and Training Authority, Kenya


  • Dr Joshua Valeta, Director of Open, Distance and e-Learning, Ministry of Education


  • Dr Frances Alimigbe, Assistant Chief Education Officer, Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria
  • Ayodele Odeogbola, Co-Founder, Hybrid Learning Specialist, TedPrime Support Initiative, Nigeria
  • Dr Adetola Salau, Political Aide to the Executive Governor of Lagos State on Education, Nigeria
  • Soji Megbowon, Principal Education Officer/Lead Researcher, Lagos State Ministry of Education


  • Bella Rwigamba, Chief Digital Officer, Ministry of Education, Rwanda

Sierra Leone

•             Victor Abu Sesay, Director of Technology and Innovation, Ministry of Technical and Higher Education, Government of Sierra Leone

South Africa

  • Dr Neo Mothobi, Chief Education Specialist, Ministry of Education, South Africa
  • Roche Mogorosi, Chief Director – Schools Technology Support Services, Gauteng Department of Education, South Africa
  • Shunmugam Padayachee, Deputy Director General: Teachers, Education Human Resource and Institutional Development, Department of Basic Education, Pretoria, Republic of South Africa
  • Emmanuel Pillay, CEO, iTMaster (PTY) Ltd, South Africa
  • Michael Mavimbela, Senior Education Specialist – eLearning, Mpumalanga Department of Education, South Africa
  • Adv. Jana Du Plooy, CEO, Acorn Education NPC / into space NPC, South Africa


  • Kenneth Bagarukayo, Commissioner Research and Development, Ministry of Information and Communications Technology, Uganda


  • George Mutale, Assistant Director for ICT, Ministry of Education, Zambia


  • Addi Mavengere, CEO, Learning Factory, Zimbabwe

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