Archived Webinar

Africa Knowledge in Time for COVID-19 - African Digital Solutions to the Education Challenge of COVID-19

"How groundbreaking digital solutions can support, and even ensure, a quality education."

When COVID-19 hit the African continent, some schools had already been closed due to conflict, strikes, or worsening storms and floods. The COVID-19 crisis and subsequent lockdowns have sorely exacerbated the challenge of getting an education. Distance-learning initiatives have been established and teachers, districts and governments have been critical partners in this unprecedented experiment in remote learning. In this talk, Ghanaian entrepreneur Fred Swaniker of the Africa Leadership University, will discuss how groundbreaking digital solutions can support, and even ensure, a quality education—and turn the digital divide into dividends for Africa.

Africa Knowledge in Time (KiT) for COVID-19 is an initiative of the Africa Chief Economist’s Office that puts forward crucial questions and issues for policymakers and development experts on the pandemic in the region. Africa KiT is a series of virtual seminars and dialogues, blogs, policy notes, and other analytical pieces by leading policymakers, top academics, public intellectuals, and World Bank experts on the public health, economic and social dimensions of the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa. 

About the Presenters

Fred Swaniker

Founder, African Leadership University, Africa

Fred Swaniker is on a mission to bring better leadership to Africa and the world. He is the founder and CEO of the African Leadership Group – an ecosystem of organizations that are catalyzing a new era of ethical, entrepreneurial African leaders. Over the past 15 years, he has founded and led the pre-university African Leadership Academy, the African Leadership University, the African Leadership Network, and ALX — a next-generation leadership development and talent sourcing platform. Collectively, these endeavors aim to transform Africa by developing 3 million African leaders by 2035. He is also the founder of The Room, a talent agency for the world’s ambitious doers. Fred previously worked as a McKinsey consultant before earning an MBA from Stanford and becoming an entrepreneur. He is an Echoing Green Fellow; Aspen Institute Fellow; and most recently, was recognized as one of TIME Magazine’s most influential people of 2019.  He holds honorary doctorate degrees from Macalester College, Middlebury College, and Nelson Mandela University. 

Meskerem Mulatu

Practice Manager, Education, World Bank

Meskerem Mulatu, an Ethiopian national, joined the World Bank as part of the Young Professionals Program in 1993. In September 2014, she started her an assignment in the Education Global Practice as a Lead Education Specialist focusing on West and Central Africa, and most recently as the Acting Practice Manager for the unit. Prior to that, she served in the Europe and Central Asia region as the Sector Leader for the South Caucasus and spent time as the Lead Education Specialist working on Romania and the South Caucasus. She has a Bachelor's degree from Mount Holyoke College and a Masters in Public Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. Ms. Mulatu served as the World Bank’s representative to the Secretariat for Financing for Development at UN and spent a year assigned by the World Bank as an adviser to the Superintendent of Schools for the city of Washington, DC.

Albert Zeufack

Africa Region Chief Economist, World Bank

Dr. Albert G. Zeufack, a Cameroonian national, is the World Bank’s Chief Economist for Africa. Prior to his appointment in May 2016, he was a Practice Manager in the Macroeconomics and Fiscal Management Global Practice and the leader of the World Bank-wide Community of Practice for the Management of Natural Resources Rents. His main research interest is in the micro-foundations of macroeconomics. Dr. Zeufack joined the World Bank in 1997 as a Young Professional and started his career as a research economist in the Macroeconomics Division of the Research Department. Since then, he has held several positions in Africa, East Asia and Pacific, Europe and Central Asia regions. Between 2008 and 2012, on leave from the World Bank, he was the Director of Research and Investment Strategy/Chief Economist for Khazanah Nasional Berhad, a Malaysian Sovereign Wealth Fund.

Boutheina Guermazi

Director, Digital Development, World Bank

Dr. Boutheina Guermazi is the Director of Digital Development Department of the Infrastructure Practice Group of the World Bank. She heads a global team working on building digital economies in developing countries, to drive shared prosperity and reduced poverty. The team advises policymakers and regulators, works in collaboration with leading firms and partners, and designs investment and technical assistance programs to improve broadband connectivity and the use of digital technology to address the development challenges of client countries. The work covers a wide area of focus including broadband networks, mobile networks, cloud infrastructure, the internet of things, and big data analytics. The team works collaboratively across sectors to ensure the availability and use of digital government platforms, identification for development and other key foundations to harness digital development while strengthening cybersecurity, privacy, and data protection. Dr. Guermazi also leads the Digital Development Partnership (DDP), a Multi-Donor Trust Fund focusing on digital development globally.

Questions Submitted

jose luis

- Jul 2, 2021


- May 28, 2021


- Mar 14, 2021
Quite interesting and informative contents


- Jan 12, 2021


- Nov 3, 2020
Good day Would like to share a platform for Education that will support all Nations Please contact Dale Richardson (780) 835-8889 Website: Look forward to talking soon God bless Dale
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