26 Jul, 2023

ESSA's 2021/22 Annual Report is Out: Remarkable Growth and Impact

An engaging opening letter from Chair Patrick Dunne OBE, where we reflect on the exceptional milestones and influential partnerships that have paved the way for ESSA's exciting journey.

We are thrilled to share ESSA's 2021/22 Annual Report, showcasing a year of remarkable growth and impactful achievements. Guided by the leadership of our board and executive, this report captures the significant strides made by ESSA in its mission to ensure high-quality education in sub-Saharan Africa. Join us in delving into the engaging opening letter from Chair Patrick Dunne, where we reflect on the exceptional milestones and influential partnerships that have paved the way for ESSA's exciting journey. 

Letter from the Chair 

The year 2022 was defined by tremendous progress for ESSA in our impact and influence, in building capacity and capabilities as well as strengthening our financial position. It was also the second full year of implementation for our 2021-2026 Strategic Plan towards realising our bold vision of high-quality education in sub-Saharan Africa that enables young people to achieve their ambitions and strengthens society. We want to have benefited over 1.4 million students in 500 universities and colleges in Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, and Zambia by 2026. We will achieve this goal by turning research and evidence into action and co-creating evidence-based practical solutions with our partners.  

Thank you to our community of funders and partners who have contributed to the growth of ESSA. Much appreciation to the ESSA team in Ghana, Kenya, Germany and the UK for their commitment, creativity and skill. I also want to thank my fellow trustees for providing oversight and creating such a supportive environment for the ESSA team to deliver quality work and achieve the year's intended objectives. 

My personal highlight for the year was completing our registration in Ghana, a crucial step in strengthening ESSA’s ability to achieve impact for young people in Africa. This has already enabled us to deepen existing partnerships in Ghana and elsewhere and help us to continue to build a promising pipeline of significant projects. In the process, we have raised ESSA’s brand profile and intensified engagement with our key audiences (policymakers, educators, students, employers, and funders), all critical for growing our influence and improving education. 

We were delighted to know that more people want to be part of our remarkable growth and impact. In 2022, ESSA commenced six new important partnerships with Imaginable Futures, Partnership for Social Governance and Research (PASGR), Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, EdTech Hub and International Association of Universities. All these partnerships will help us maximise impact and deliver our mission. 

It was also a year where we completed the first phase of our partnership with Dubai Cares. This partnership has been transformational for ESSA, catalysing important work in employability, female leadership and faculty challenges and positioning ESSA as a knowledge platform. Their generous support enabled ESSA to increase its visibility and strengthen its core operations. You can read more in this report about what was achieved during the three years of partnership. 

In the coming year, we plan to continue with our work and review the successes and challenges of implementing our strategy so far. As you know, at ESSA we are always learning, and it is with this mindset that we will be able to bridge the gap between evidence and data to impact to help young people realise their ambitions and strengthen their societies. 

 Sincerely, Patrick Dunne OBE Chair, Board of Trustees, ESSA 

Download the report here


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