New award launched this year by T4 Education in collaboration with HP and Intel is to be given to an outstanding individual who has demonstrated impact, leadership, and advocacy in the field of African education.
Basuti Bolo, Founder and CEO of GoToSpace, in Botswana, has been named a Top 10 finalist for the new Africa Education Medal, launched this year by T4 Education in collaboration with HP and Intel. Bolo joins nine other outstanding individuals from across Africa including H.E. Jakaya Kikwete, former President of Tanzania and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Global Partnership for Education. The Africa Education Medal was founded to recognise the tireless work of those who are transforming education across the continent – to celebrate the stories of those who have lit the spark of change so others will be inspired to take up the torch.
Basuti Bolo is the Founder and CEO of GoToSpace whose ambitions to empower women and girls reach far beyond Africa and to the stars themselves. Her initiative educates and mentors 10,000 girls a year on space and STEM at the national and international levels, helping harness space science in the pursuit of sustainable development. Bolo serves as Endowed Chair Educational Technologies and advisory board member of online learning at Africa University.
GoToSpace educates communities on space science technologies and their applications, particularly their Earthly uses when it comes to the management of resources. It plays a big role in promoting gender equality and closing the gender gap in STEM. It works with the government and communities to develop strategies that can be used to drive the UN Sustainable Development Goals by sharing space knowledge for management, education, research, and innovation.
Bolo’s dream is to change Africa by driving its vision to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. She recognises that quality education is the key and that girls must not be left behind. Africa’s population has more females than males, therefore it is vital that they are empowered to act on sustainability through STEM education.
Bolo’s initiative awards prizes for girls in Mathematics and Science to motivate them to excel in a world that has traditionally been dominated by males.
Her work has been recognised by the UN and she has won numerous awards including the Global Women for Good Ambassador Award 2022 and the Global Women in Leadership Award 2022 by the Global Council for the Promotion of International Trade for outstanding achievements and exemplary services towards people, society, and nation building. Other accolades include: Globant Awards Women that Build Digital Leader Finalist Award 2021; WomenTech Network Community Final Award 2022; Top 35 most influential women in technology in Africa 2021 by CIO Africa; Top 100 professional women in Aerospace and Aviation to follow in LinkedIn 2022; Top 100 of the Women of World in Leadership to watch in 2022.
Brad Pulford, Managing Director at HP Africa, said: “Congratulations to Basuti Bolo on being named a Top 10 finalist for the Africa Education Medal. In honouring her tireless work to improve education, I hope many others will be inspired to follow her outstanding example as leaders in the field.
“HP has been committed to enabling better learning outcomes for 100 million people by 2025. Achieving this bold goal wouldn’t be possible without empowered education leaders and trailblazers who are at the forefront of the rapidly changing education environment. A quality education empowers not just individuals, but entire communities. It will skill the next generation to fulfil their full potential in a world being transformed by technology.”
The Top 10 finalists for the Africa Education Medal are:
· H.E. Jakaya Kikwete, former President of Tanzania and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Global Partnership for Education
· Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town, South Africa
· Basuti Bolo, Founder and CEO of GoToSpace, in Botswana
· Cyrille Nkontchou, Founder and Chairman of Enko Education, in Ivory Coast
· Felix Malombe, Executive Director of STEAM Labs Africa, in Kenya
· John Mugo, Executive Director of Zizi Afrique Foundation, in Kenya
· Folawe Omikunle, Chief Executive Officer of Teach For Nigeria
· Jide Martin, Founder and CEO of Comic Republic, in Nigeria
· Musu Bakoto Sawo, National Coordinator of Think Young Women, in Gambia
· Noella Coursaris Musunka, Founder and CEO of the Georges Malaika Foundation, in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Nominations for the Africa Education Medal opened in April 2022 for individuals working to improve pre-kindergarten, K-12, vocational and university education who are either educators, school administrators, civil society leaders, public servants, government officials, political leaders, technologists, or innovators. The winner of the Africa Education Medal will be announced in September. Finalists will be assessed by a Jury comprising prominent individuals based on rigorous criteria.