Enriching US Visit for African Fellows in Education

March 14-22, 2024, Washington D.C. and Baltimore, USA

Four African fellows supported under the Africa Fellows in Education Program travelled to the US for an enriching learning and networking experience.

The inaugural cohort of the Africa Fellows in Education Program (AFEP) travelled to Washington D.C. and Baltimore (USA) for a valuable learning and networking experience.

Between March 14 and 22, the four fellows—from Cameroon, Gambia, South Africa, and Tanzania—attended the Associate of Education, Finance and Policy (AEFP) Conference, a Causal Inference Workshop, and multiple meetings with researchers and policy experts specialising in Africa’s education context.

The AEFP Conference (March 14-16) in Baltimore was an important opportunity for the fellows to network with the larger education community.

“The prevalence of similar challenges in education systems across other developing countries and the US was particularly striking, highlighting the universality of issues such as investment in Early Childhood Development, school finance, and post-secondary learning outcomes,” said Dr Amadou Jallow, AFEP Fellow from the Gambia.

From Mach 18 to 20, the fellows participated in the Causal Inference (Impact Evaluation) Workshop at the Hoover Institution in Washington D.C.. The fellows were able to develop their practical expertise in impact evaluation methods.

“I acquired valuable skills, particularly in causal inference methods. Practical sessions and case studies enabled me to understand how to apply these methods in my educational research and beyond effectively,” said Dr Yselle Malah Kuete, AFEP Fellow from Cameroon.

During the final days of the visit, the fellows met with research and policy experts at the World Bank, The Brookings Institution’s Center for Universal Education, and NewGlobe. As well as networking with senior specialists, the fellows gained insights into their ongoing research projects and development partner perspectives on education in Africa.

“It was great to meet people whose work I’ve been reading about in person and to be able to tell them about my work. The short feedback I received really helped me understand how my work fits into the agendas of big players in the field, such as the World Bank,” said Dr Heleen Hofmeyr, AFEP Fellow from South Africa.

Dr Jaah Mkupete, AFEP Fellow from Tanzania, added: “The detailed feedback received during these interactions, particularly from individuals familiar with the regional context, was instrumental in refining my research approach and anticipating implementation hurdles.”

The visit also gave the fellows, the Director of AFEP, and the President of the Global Education Analytics Institute (GEAI)—the organisation co-hosting AFEP with PEP—the opportunity for their first physical meeting all together. This meeting provided the space for enriching discussions on the specific educational issues in the fellows’ respective countries, as well as on broader topics related to education in sub-Saharan Africa.

Fellows meet WB Director for Education
The AFEP Fellows and Dr Ramaele Moshoeshoe, the Director of the AFEP (far left), meet with Dr Luis Benveniste, the World Bank's Global Director for Education (centre).

 

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