Prof. Mamokgethi Phakeng, vice chancellor of the University of Cape Town in South Africa, has received the first Africa Education Medal in recognition of her contribution, commitment, and leadership in the domain of African education.
T4 Education and HP, along with Intel and Microsoft, debuted the award this year. Phakeng won out over 10 nominees from around the continent, including two remarkable Nigerians: Jide Martin, the founder of Comic Republic, and Chief Executive Officer of Teach For Nigeria, Folawe Omikunle.
To honor the contributions of the passionate people who are reshaping education in the continent, the Africa Education Medal was established.
Prof. Phakeng is one of the foremost experts in mathematics education in the world. She has contributed more than 80 research papers over the past 20 years, along with five edited volumes that remain influential mathematics instruction in teaching and learning across Africa and well beyond.
Her work, which specializes on linguistic forms in heterogeneous math classrooms, has had a significant impact on post-colonial Africa, particularly post-Apartheid South Africa.
Brad Pulford, vice president and managing director of HP Africa, commended the winner and cited Phakeng as an inspiration to people throughout the continent for her dedication and vision in revolutionizing education in Africa and beyond.
Vikas Pota, the founder and CEO of T4 Education, said high-quality education will support the development of African nations. Additionally, it will assist Africa in developing future leaders who will face the toughest problems facing the continent, such as inequality, climate change, food poverty, and ailments.
“Congratulations to Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, a great example of someone working every day to make that vision a reality. I have no doubt leaders from across Africa will be inspired to follow in her footsteps.”
In her speech, Prof. Phakeng: “Quality education is the key to Africa’s future and I’m so grateful to HP, Intel and Microsoft for this award that I hope will inspire others across our continent to further the cause of African education.”
Professor of mathematics, Rosina Mamokgethi Phakeng GCOB, a South African, was appointed vice-chancellor of the University of Cape Town (UCT) in 2018. Prior to that, she served as acting executive dean of the College of Science, Engineering, and Technology at UNISA and as vice principal for research and innovation at the University of South Africa. She has received numerous awards for both science and women.