AfricaAfrica AsiaEducationOpinion

OPINION: Lessons from Sierra Leone: How to get girls back to school

Mariamu* did not intend to give birth at school. She had discovered she was pregnant, aged 16, during Sierra Leone’s nine-month Ebola lockdown in 2014. Her boyfriend disappeared and she was consumed by shame and despair. She dropped out of school thinking her education was over.

Then, eight months into her pregnancy, her family received a visit from staff at a new “community learning centre” with a remit to enrol pregnant girls and teen mothers. The centre – one of the hundreds set up in the wake of Ebola across Sierra Leone – was staffed by specially trained teachers who taught there after their regular classes, using accelerated learning approaches.

This means condensing the regular curriculum into a shorter time frame to help students catch up, focusing on the foundations of literacy and numeracy, alongside social and emotional learning. Mariamu was thrilled to be learning again.

One day in class, she started to feel cramps. The centre’s coordinator took her to her office. Before they could arrange transport to a health centre, her baby boy was born.

Just two weeks after giving birth, both mother and baby were back at the learning centre three days a week. Mariamu was given a space to breastfeed and the centre coordinator looked after her baby while she was in class.

Today, eight years later, Mariamu is in the second year of her college degree course, having reintegrated into formal school and completed her secondary education.

While giving birth in school is rare, Mariamu’s predicament is not. The Ebola epidemic gave us a terrible foretaste of the impact of COVID-19 shutdowns on adolescent girls. Multiple studies around the world have shown how the shutdowns of 2020 and 2021 resulted in heightened levels of gender-based violence, teen pregnancy, child marriage, and child labour. Research in Western Kenya, for example, showed how teenage girls were twice as likely to fall pregnant at this time.

The wide incidence of rape and lack of access to contraception sent pregnancy rates soaring during both COVID-19 and Ebola. A United Nations study showed how Sierra Leone’s teen pregnancy rate surged during the Ebola crisis from 30 to 65 percent, with 14,000 additional pregnancies. In 2020, Save the Children estimated that COVID-19 shutdowns would lead to an additional 23,000 teen pregnancies in the country by the end of the year.

These vulnerable adolescents are the lost girls of COVID-19 – 11 million girls globally who the UN predicted might not return to classes after the pandemic, on top of the 130 million already out of school.

Meanwhile, research from across Africa suggests that it’s older girls, like Mariamu, who are least likely to return now. These girls are among the most marginalised of the marginalised. To get them back, experience shows that we need urgent, purposeful and targeted action: We need what in Sierra Leone is described as “radical inclusion”.

It starts at the grassroots, in the community, where deeply entrenched beliefs and gender norms are often barriers to pregnant girls and young mothers continuing in education. In Sierra Leone, informal learning centres like Mariamu’s conduct intensive outreach with influential community members, including paramount chiefs and local leaders who act as non-partisan members of parliament. They sit with them, listening to their viewpoints and explaining why these girls should continue with their education. The leaders see the value of educating girls and the role they can play in more prosperous families and communities.

It worked. In 2015, with the support of international donors, 14,500 pregnant and breastfeeding girls were enrolled in community learning centres, with 5,000 of these reintegrating into the formal school system in both 2016 and 2017.

Sierra Leone’s COVID-19 response has built on this experience, with dedicated remedial classes in more than 300 community learning centres. Girls have been provided with school bags, shoes, books, writing materials, sanitiser and face masks to cut the costs associated with school. So far this calendar year, the centres have reintegrated more than 800 adolescent girls in four districts into formal schools.

Their ability to reach more has been hampered by financial constraints as international donor support dwindled. Dr Olive Musa, who leads the programme nationally, says much more still needs to be done, especially when it comes to supporting young mothers to generate income to provide for their children. International donor support and coordination across government sectors are critical.

As well as getting girls into school and empowering them to believe in a different future, radical inclusion means addressing the mindsets of men, boys and communities that perpetuate tired stereotypes of what girls can and can’t do. This calls for gender-transformative approaches.

One example is a four-year project that the NGO International Rescue Committee ran in Sierra Leone. As well as education and empowerment activities for girls, it included community dialogues and radio shows that challenged communities’ attitudes to educating adolescent girls. An evaluation showed that this had a significant impact, including a decline in child marriages.

Supportive legal and policy frameworks are also vital in achieving positive change. Sierra Leone made a start by, in 2020, overturning a ban on pregnant girls and teenage mothers attending school and sitting for exams. This was followed, in 2021, by a Radical Inclusion Policy for the education of historically marginalised groups, including pregnant girls, parent learners, children with disabilities, children from rural and underserved areas, and children from low-income families.

The policy aims to strengthen Sierra Leoneans’ access to free quality basic education for all. These important policies must be complemented by other measures – health services and meals in schools, sexuality education, as well as childcare and income-generating support for girls returning to class after giving birth.

Sierra Leone is also decriminalising abortion to protect young women’s health and choices. Research has shown that 34 percent of pregnancies and 40 percent of maternal deaths in the country are among adolescents.

Finally, to do all this well, governments need robust data that is disaggregated so we can see what’s really happening with different groups of girls, instead of treating them as a homogenous group.

Sierra Leone’s move towards an education system that truly works for everyone is still a work in progress, but we hope the country’s approach of radical inclusion towards girls who have dropped out of school offers valuable lessons for others.

Its example could not only help other nations recover from the ravages of the pandemic, but it could also assist them in building more robust education systems for the 21st century. Mariamu’s story shows what can happen if we get it right.

* Mariamu’s name has been changed to protect her right to privacy.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.


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DRC, Nigeria migrants clash in overcrowded reception centre in Cyprus

Cypriot police fired tear gas Friday after a fire broke out in an overcrowded migrant reception centre amid clashes sparked by an argument between different nationalities, officers said.

One person needed hospital treatment after being injured at the Pournara camp for migrants, on the edge of the capital Nicosia.

People hurled rocks and objects at each other, forcing many to flee in panic, and firefighters rushed to extinguish a blaze that sent billowing smoke into the sky. Tensions later “calmed”, police said.

“Police are doing everything possible to protect the area and those residing in the camp,” said Papatheodorou.

Cypriot news outlet Philenews said clashes broke between asylum seekers from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria, two of the largest migrant groups in Cyprus.

European Union member Cyprus says it is on the frontline of the bloc’s irregular migration flows, and last year reported the highest number of asylum applicants per population.

The small EU state has lobbied Brussels to take action over the “disproportionate” numbers of asylum seekers it receives.

New asylum applications multiplied to over 13,000 last year in Greek Cypriot-administered southern Cyprus, with its population of 850,000.

In March, a report by the Cypriot children’s rights commissioner described chronic overcrowding, woeful bathroom facilities and reports of meagre food rations in the Pournara camp, prompting officials to vow to work to improve conditions.

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BREAKING: WAEC launches digital certificate in Lagos

The West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has launched a digital certificate.

Speaking at the launch in Lagos on Thursday, WAEC’S Head of National Office, Patrick Areghan, said the certificate is the electronic version of the physical paper certificate.

He said the development is in line with the council’s continuous record of meeting global standards by using cutting-edge technologies to improve candidates ‘ experience.

Details Shortly…

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AFRICA: Cameroon Girls Call for End to School Shutdowns

Hundreds of displaced girls have protested the conflicts that have disrupted or halted their education. Close to a million Cameroonian children have lost school time in recent years due to the separatist conflict in western regions and Boko Haram terrorism on the borders with Chad and Nigeria. The demonstrators are calling Tuesday for better security so children, especially girls, can return to classrooms.

Sixteen-year-old Adama Issatou tells onlookers in Maroua, a town on Cameroon’s northern border with Chad and Nigeria, that she needs an education. She said she speaks for scores of other girls who were deprived of an education by Boko Haram militants.

Adama said in 2018, militants forcefully took her out of a school in Kolofata, a town on Cameroons northern border with Nigeria. She said a Boko Haram fighter impregnated her, then abandoned her for three years in a camp on the border with Nigeria.

Adama said in 2021, she was freed from the camp by government troops fighting Boko Haram.

Adama’s plea to have an education was broadcast several times by media Tuesday, including on Cameroon’s public broadcaster, CRTV, Canal 2 and Satellite FM Radio.

The government says hundreds of girls demonstrated in several cities, including Yaounde, Bamenda and Kumbo in the Northwest region, Buea, Kumba and Limbe in the Southwest region and Maroua on the northern border.

The protests were scheduled to coincide with the U.N. International Day of the Girl Child. The day is meant to recognize girls’ rights and the challenges they face around the world.

Emmanual Kimbi is an official of Education for All Children, a rights group headquartered in Yaounde. He said a coalition of 20 groups organized Tuesday’s demonstrations.

Kimbi said Cameroon rights groups want separatist fighters, Boko Haram militants, and government troops to spare schools and allow children to have an education.

“You get into a village and you see a girl of 12 years already having a child. These are children who are supposed to be in school. Those who triggered these issues recruited children, and pupils as child soldiers. We should rescue them, we should move around and preach so that people should see the essence of education. Reconstruct the schools, allow the children to go to schools,” he said.

FILE - Schoolchildren, their parents and teachers hold a protest after gunmen opened fire at a school, killing at least six children as authorities claim, in Kumba, Cameroon, Oct. 25, 2020.
FILE – Schoolchildren, their parents and teachers hold a protest after gunmen opened fire at a school, killing at least six children as authorities claim, in Kumba, Cameroon, Oct. 25, 2020.
Handerson Quetong Kongeh is the highest government official in Ngoketunjia, an administrative unit in Cameroon’s Northwest region, where the government says separatists have closed several dozen schools since September, when the school year began in Cameroon.

Kongeh said the government has deployed troops to make the schools safe. He says troops will not spare anyone who wants to interrupt teaching.

“Any proponents of a boycott who will continue to insist on boycott should know that they have another agenda which is hidden, and therefore woe betide anybody who will continue to carry out a campaign and sensitization for this doctrine of boycott,” he said.

Cameroon separatist groups accuse the government of attacking schools and blame the attacks on the separatists – an allegation the government denies. Human Rights Watch says both sides are responsible for attacks on schools.

The United Nations says the separatist crisis that began in Cameroon’s English-speaking western regions in 2016 has deprived some 750,000 children of an education, a majority of them girls.

It says another 250,000 have been deprived of learning in the north because of the Boko Haram conflict.


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Pope Francis appoints Ghanaian cardinal Peter Turkson to head Vatican academies

Pope Francis appointed Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson new Chancellor of Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.

73-year-old Cardinal Peter Turkson from Ghana was appointed by the Pope to head two Vatican institutions, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.

The news was made public on Monday and Turkson will succeed Argentine Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo who has held these positions since 1998. The Pontifical Academies of Social Sciences and of Sciences have their headquarters inside the Vatican.

They state their mission as one to serve and “honour pure science wherever it may be found, ensure its freedom and encourage research for the progress of science.

Cardinal Turkson directed the Vatican office dedicated to migration issues, the environment and Covid-19 response up to last December. After an inspection of the dicastery he headed was ordered, and his resignation, speculations claimed he was being moved away. With this nomination, Turkson gets a new top Vatican position.

The Pontifical Academies of Social Sciences and of Sciences are supranational academies, part of the 10 Pontifical Academies operated by the Holy See.

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Women and girls deserve to live without violence in ‘safety, dignity and freedom’

Violence against women and girls may be the world’s “longest, deadliest pandemic,” the UN chief said on Tuesday, during an event focused on the role boys and men need to play, to help eliminate gender-based violence.

“One in three women worldwide has directly experienced violence”, Secretary-General António Guterres said in a video message at an event on the fringes of the annual Conference on the Status of Women (CSW).

He noted that every 11 minutes, a woman is killed by a partner or family member, often in her own home, “where she should be safest.”

“We cannot accept a world in which one half of humanity is at risk in the streets, in their homes or online. We must end violence against women and girls – now.”

Making the transformation

Changing “the hearts and minds of men and boys”, is the first step according to the top UN official.

“Men created this scourge. Men must end it.”

This begins with all men looking in the mirror and pledging to uproot the “lopsided power dynamics, toxic masculinity, and cultural norms and stereotypes that have fuelled this violence over millennia”.

Imagine change 

From Europe to Asia and Africa to the Americas, COVID-19 has triggered dramatic increases in violence against women in every region of the world.

In the early days of the pandemic in 2020, the UN chief called for an end to the rising surge of violence against women and girls.

“We know change is possible,” he said.

Let’s work together to ensure that every woman and girl can live their lives free from violence

To this end, the UN’s Spotlight Initiative has so far, educated 880,000 men and boys on positive masculinity, respectful relationships and non-violent conflict resolution.

From taxi drivers to sports clubs, men are actively participating in programmes to prevent gender-based violence and support women survivors, Mr. Guterres informed the event.

Meanwhile, the UN is working with governments and legislators to strengthen laws and regulations that better protect women and girls.

More work needed

Since the Group of Friends for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls was created in 2020 – as a response to the Secretary-General’s call to action – it’s membership has grown to nearly 100.

“But it’s time to do more,” said the top UN official, reminding that as the issue is not tied to any one country, everyone must act.

He argued that the proposals laid out his Our Common Agenda report presented to Member States last year, “provide a roadmap to tackle this challenge with the strategic urgency it deserves”.

“We call on every Member State to develop an emergency plan to prevent and respond to gender-based violence,” stated the UN chief.

Seizing the opportunity

He described the event as “an opportunity” for each participant to begin bringing plans to life; coordinate by “drawing on the UN’s expertise and the positive models provided by the Spotlight Initiative”; and get other countries to join in.

“Let’s work together to ensure that every woman and girl can live their lives free from violence, with the safety, dignity and freedom they deserve,” the Secretary-General concluded.

Under the theme, Gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programmes, the 66th CSW kicked off on 14 March and will run until Friday.

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AfricaAfrica AsiaEducationScienceTechTechnology

U.S. Consulate Supports Mentorship Program for Young Women and Girls

The U.S. government is committed to supporting the next generation of women leaders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by connecting them with networks and opportunities needed to advance their careers and dreams in tech fields.

On Thursday, the TechWomen Alumni Association of Nigeria held the closing ceremony of a U.S. Consulate-supported TechWomen Nigeria Mentorship Project for emerging female leaders in STEM fields.

For six weeks, 10 mentees aged 18-30 were paired with 10 women leaders in STEM. The mentees shadowed their mentors at leading technology and STEM-related companies in Lagos, including Intel and Microsoft, and attended capacity building workshops with their peers.

The closing event celebrated the graduation of the participants, who in turn shared their experiences and highlighted how partaking in the program helped them to refine their skills and boosted their confidence to advance in their various careers.

Speaking at the closing ceremony of the project in Lagos, U.S. Consul General Claire Pierangelo congratulated the young female STEM professionals on completing the mentorship program.

Pierangelo highlighted the importance of expanding young women’s networks in STEM fields, encouraging them to pursue tech careers and ensuring the sustainability of the mentor-mentee model in Nigeria.

The U.S. government is committed to advancing the rights and participation of women and girls in the STEM fields

“I am happy to see that our TechWomen Nigeria alumni have taken steps to replicate their exchange experience by providing mentoring opportunities for young women in STEM in their local communities,” Pierangelo said.

“The U.S. government is committed to advancing the rights and participation of women and girls in the STEM fields, by enabling them to reach their full potential in the tech industry. The TechWomen and TechGirls programs are perfect examples of this commitment.”

Country Account Executive for West Africa at Intel Corporation, Rita Amuchienwa, served as a mentor during the project. She described the benefits of the mentor-mentee model initiated by the TechWomen Nigeria Alumni Association

“Young women in tech can particularly benefit from mentoring as a means to build confidence, enhance skills, and set achievable career goals,” Amuchienwa said.

One of the mentees, Rofiat Korodo, explained that her participation in the mentorship program has strengthened her capacity, expanded her professional networks and exposed her to top female role models in her field.

“It has been an awesome experience. My mentor provided me insights into specific professional situations, negotiation tactics, opportunities and career path goals. I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this mentorship program,” Korodo added.

TechWomen is an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. It strengthens participants’ professional capacity, increases mutual understanding between key professionals, and expands young women’s interest in STEM careers by exposing them to female role models.

Since the program’s inception in 2013, 45 Nigerian women in STEM have participated in a unique five-week mentorship program to increase their specialized proficiencies, connect with valuable mentors and build a professional network of like-minded women.

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African Metaverse set to Boost Economy and Create Employment

Africa’s first metaverse is set to unlock African creativity and connect Africa to the global digital economy. At an event in Johannesburg yesterday, plans were announced for commercialisation of the 3D virtual reality experience, that is set in Ubuntuland, a virtual world that marries creativity, cryptocurrency, and commerce.

Firstly, virtual land will soon be available to purchase and develop, with MTN, Africa’s largest multinational mobile telecommunications company joining Africarare with an upcoming 12×12 village (144 plots of real estate) secured in Ubuntuland. Additionally, M&C Saatchi Abel have entered the metaverse as the first South African agency to do so. There will only ever be 204 642 plots of land available, made up of different village sizes in various community hubs. The land is positioned and priced according to a tiered value system.

Landholders will be able to customize their 3-D land spaces, such as hosting shops, producing resources, renting virtual services and developing games or other applications. Designated spaces will serve the community for work, play and wellness purposes, including a state of the art meeting rooms, online therapy rooms (with optional anonymity), concert stages, film festival spaces, meditation lounges and other dynamic interactive environments. And, there’s more to come, such as staking, DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) and blockchain play-to-earn gaming.

Maps Maponyane & Nastassia Arendse at Africarare launch in Johannesburg

Renowned South African artist Norman Catherine has developed a unique collection of avatars for the metaverse, which will shortly be available to purchase. The Normunda tribe is based on the artist’s signature lexicon, that has fetched record prices in galleries around the world. An avatar is a 3-D graphical representation of a user or the user’s character or persona in this space.

Furthermore, an exciting collaboration between Africarare and South African superstar Boitumelo Thulo has been announced. Popularly known as Boity, the acclaimed television personality, rapper, actress, businesswoman and model, revealed her first virtual reality music video, entering the event in the same Sun Goddess custom creation upon which her outfit in Queen Boity avatar form was based. The Boity tribe of 10 000 avatars will soon be available for fans, with a Boity village currently being developed and plans for virtual concerts under way.

Africarare will connect Africa to this booming arena of the global economy, stimulate growth and create multiple new jobs such as digital designers, creators and architects

The currency in Ubuntuland will be the $UBUNTU token, which is built on the Ethereum blockchain and available from later this year. Everything in Africarare can be bought, sold or traded using $UBUNTU tokens, including buying, developing, selling or renting plots or villages in Ubuntuland, and the in-world purchases of digital goods and services. The valuation of the token will be calculated according to what users invest / build / play / trade inside the metaverse.

Two art galleries will feature in Africarare, dedicated to showcasing Africa’s prolific creativity. The Mila gallery (Swahili for ‘tradition’), already open, will host curated collections by some of Africa’s foremost artists, while the Inuka gallery (Swahili for ‘rise’) will feature works by emerging African artists from later in 2022. Both galleries will stage various exhibitions on an ongoing basis with art pieces being be sold as NFT’s (non-fungible tokens).

Boity in Africarare Metaverse

In the Africarare marketplace, creators and developers can trade in in-world assets such as land, avatars, avatar additions and other goods and services that are and will be available in Ubuntuland. The marketplace focuses on four main areas: Art, Ubuntuland, Avatars & Skins and Digital Services. Users will also be able to trade on secondary platforms such as Opensea and others.

The Central Hub land area is reserved for Africarare custom made experiences, ranging from art to education and including experiences like galleries, live performances, stand-up comedy, video content channels, film festivals, safaris and more.

Africarare will connect Africa to this booming arena of the global economy, stimulate growth and create multiple new jobs such as digital designers, creators and architects ” said Mic Mann, Co-founder and CEO of Africarare. “Additionally, it will enable South African artists to showcase their talent to the world and monetize their distinctive creations,” he added. “With Africarare being built on collaborative partnerships, the possibilities for commercialisation are endless” said Shayne Mann, Co-founder of Africarare.

“This is an exciting moment for us as we lead businesses on the continent to enter the metaverse marketplace. This is exactly what our Ambition 2025 strategy is premised on – leveraging trends that amplify consumer’s digital experiences and engagement. We have always been at the forefront of technological and digital changes and we remain alive to the exciting opportunities the metaverse presents for us and our customers’’ – Bernice Samuels MTN Group Executive.

With Ubuntuland poised to become the biggest talking point in the digital African space, it’s time to own your piece of Virtual Africa!

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Stepping up African Youth Empowerment

Boeing, Injaz Al-Arab and JA Africa Join hands

Story: Mohammed Abu, ADM, Accra

INJAZ Al-Arab, a member of Junior Achievement (JA) Worldwide, the world’s largest non-profit business education organization, has announced the strengthening of its partnership with Boeing to include JA Africa a move that seeks to empower over 5,000 youth in Africa to build their entrepreneurial and employability skills.

Tanzania, Ghana, Mauritania, Nigeria, Sudan, Madagascar and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are the prime beneficiary African countries of the partnership expansion, which falls under the Entrepreneurship & Work-readiness pillars,

Through this collaboration with Boeing, INJAZ Al-Arab and JA Africa will offer participants an interactive learning journey that includes different JA core programs such as Innovation Day Camps, Entrepreneurship Education, and Economic Success.

In Tanzania, the partnership will focus on supporting 100 Tanzanian youth through Innovation Day Camps, while the program in Ghana, Madagascar and the Democratic Republic of Congo will focus on digital entrepreneurship education of 1,300 students.

Both Mauritania and Sudan programs will empower youth to own their economic success, with 100 and 200 students targeted respectively. In Nigeria, the partnership will support the expansion of the Company Program which empowers secondary school students to build innovative businesses that solve problems within their communities.

These were contained in a joint Press Release issued recently in Dubai,United Arab Emirates(UAE)

Commenting on the partnership, Akef Aqrabawi, President  & CEO of INJAZ Al-Arab, said: “The way in which we work continues to transform the world around us, with rapid digitalization driving changes across the globe. In keeping with our commitment to inspire and empower the leaders of tomorrow, we are delighted to be expanding our long-term partnership with Boeing, strengthening the reach of our efforts, and driving change across Sub-Saharan Africa. We look forward to continuing to upskill the youth of today, providing the necessary programs and mentorship opportunities to students to ensure a stronger, successful future.”

Kuljit Ghata-Aura, president of Boeing Middle East, Turkey and Africa (META), said: “At Boeing, we are committed to developing and supporting the communities where our employees live and work. Through our partnership with INJAZ Al-Arab, we have reached thousands of talented young students across the Middle East and North-Africa, helping them with the skills they need to be successful in the job market. Building on the success achieved in previous years, we now continue our journey of preparing the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators across the African continent, a strong, long-term growth market for commercial aviation.”

Simi Nwogugu, CEO of JA Africa, said, “We are delighted to be introduced into this long-standing partnership between Boeing and INJAZ. This partnership is valuable to our objective to expand our reach into new territories and harder to reach communities where youth are marginalized and deprived of economic opportunities. Leveraging the power of technology to educate our youth is the key to unlocking the new wave of innovators and job creators Africa needs.”

The partnership expansion the release noted, follows a shared history of investment into the future of youth, which began in 2009, when Boeing joined INJAZ Al-Arab as the Entrepreneurship Pillar champion, boosting entrepreneurial skills across Arab youth. To date, programs have been rolled out across Algeria, Bahrain, Oman Egypt, Qatar, and Morocco, and include the INJAZ Al-Arab’s Innovation Camp, Company Program, Steer Your Career, STEM, and more.

“The strategic partnership between INJAZ Al-Arab and Boeing has been directed towards empowering youth to reach their full potential, and for more than 12 years, this partnership has sought out growth, geographical expansion, and significant impact.

“The forward direction holds plenty of opportunities for branching into STEM-focused programs that respond to the current market needs and cater to future demands” it further noted .

About INJAZ Al-Arab

Operating in 13 countries across the Middle East and North Africa, INJAZ Al-Arab is the only nonprofit organization in the region that harnesses the mentorship of business leaders to help inspire a culture of entrepreneurship and business innovation among Arab youth. Partnering with leading companies in the private sector, INJAZ Al-Arab equips Arab youth to drive the economies of the Arab World forward through training designed to inspire them to develop ambition, entrepreneurship, and professional skills. Named one of the top 100 NGOs in the world by NGO Advisor for six consecutive years INJAZ Al-Arab has influenced the lives of over 4 million students since its inception in 2004. INJAZ Al-Arab is a member of Junior Achievement; the world’s largest and fastest-growing youth business organization dedicated to educating students about workforce readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs.

About JA Africa

Junior Achievement (JA) Africa equips young Africans with the employability and entrepreneurial skillset and mindset they need to build thriving communities. Through the delivery of financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship training and in collaboration with schools, technical/ vocational centers and other partners, JA Africa works in 13 countries reaching 250,000 youth each year. Learn more about us at

About Boeing Company

The Boeing Company as a leading global aerospace company, Boeing develops, manufactures and services commercial airplanes, defense products and space systems for customers in more than 150 countries. As a top U.S. exporter, the company leverages the talents of a global supplier base to advance economic opportunity, sustainability and community impact. Boeing’s diverse team is committed to innovating for the future and living the company’s core values of safety, quality and integrity. Boeing’s relationship with the Middle East extends back to 1945. Since then, Boeing has established a number of offices across the region, first in Riyadh in 1982, then a dedicated Boeing Defense, Space and Security office in Abu Dhabi in 1999, a regional headquarters in Dubai in 2005, an office in Doha in 2010, and a new office in Kuwait City in 2021. In addition, Boeing has field service teams across the region and two distribution centers for airplane spare parts in Dubai. For further information, please visit: Follow us on @Boeing and @BoeingMidEast.

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DRC, Seychelles, South Africa, Others to benefit from Netflix $1 Million Scholarship Fund

Netflix the world’s leading entertainment streaming service, has announced a commitment of US$1 million towards the newly-established Netflix Creative Equity Scholarship Fund (CESF) for film and TV students in Sub-Saharan Africa. The scholarship fund forms part of Netflix’s global Netflix Creative Equity Fund ( launched in 2021 to be allocated to various initiatives over the next 5 years with the goal of developing a strong, diverse pipeline of creatives around the world.

The scholarship fund will cover the costs for tuition, accommodation, study materials and living expenses at institutions where beneficiaries have gained admission to pursue a course of study in the TV & film disciplines in the 2022 academic year.

The Netflix CESF is targeted for rollout across the region in the academic year commencing in 2022, starting with an open call for applications in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, in partnership with social investment fund management and advisory firm Tshikululu Social Investments ( as implementing partner/fund administrator in Southern Africa. Fund administration partners for East Africa and the West and Central Africa regions will be announced in due course.

“Netflix is excited by the potential of the next generation of storytellers and we’re committed to investing in the future of African storytelling in the long-term,” says Ben Amadasun, Netflix Director of Content in Africa. “We believe there are great stories to be told from Africa and we want to play our part by supporting students who are passionate about the film and TV industry so they too, can ultimately contribute to the creative ecosystem by bringing more unique voices and diverse perspectives to African storytelling that our global audiences find appealing.”

Netflix is excited by the potential of the next generation of storytellers and we’re committed to investing in the future of African storytelling in the long-term

How it works:

The Netflix CESF is designed to provide financial assistance, through full scholarships, at partner higher educational institutions (HEI) in South Africa to support the formal qualification and training of aspiring creatives from a SADC region country that wish to study in South Africa, and are able to obtain the necessary permissions to do so. The following countries will be eligible: Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

In the SADC region, the fund will be available to students who have obtained admission to study in various film & TV-focused disciplines, for the 2022 academic year, at the following partner institutions:

Students interested in applying for scholarships for the 2022 academic year will be able to find additional information, application criteria, a list of partner higher education institutions (HEI) and will be able to apply online on our fund manager and advisory partner, Tshikululu’s website ( Applications are now open until 04 February 2022 at 23h59 CAT.

The Netflix CESF will also benefit students from other parts of Africa – particularly East Africa as well as West and Central Africa. Fund administration partners for East Africa and the West and Central Africa regions will be announced, along with the calls for applications, in due course.

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