“ESSA inspires shift in thinking on African faculty.”

ESSA PRESS RELEASE: Kigali 26 March 2018

26 Mar, 2018

At the Next Einstein Forum (www.nef.org) in Kigali today Education Sub Saharan Africa (ESSA) is gathering together leaders in African education to address one of the biggest challenges facing the African Higher Education sector:

“Where will the faculty come from?” 

Predictions of a billion more people on the continent and rising participation rates in Higher Education, even with the smartest use of technology, have significant implications for faculty capacity and capability. Given the long-term nature of building the right resources ESSA believes that this issue deserves more attention and urgent action. 

Rwanda’s Minister of Education, Dr. Eugène Mutimura, will open the event. Rwanda has already demonstrated a very progressive response particularly in science and technology. 

Dr. Mutimura will say: 

“The Demographics of Faculty initiative which Association of African Universities (AAU), the National Council for Tertiary Education of Ghana (NCTE) and ESSA are presenting today, captures a central element also for our society and economy in order to be successful.  We need well qualified faculty in our Higher Education institutions, and also enough well qualified faculty, to cope with ever increasing enrolment rates, currently and in the future.  I very much look forward to learning more about how other nations here on the continent might benefit from it.”

A major effort has been launched in collaboration with an impressive and highly relevant group of partners called the “Demographics of Faculty “.

Commenting on the effort ESSA’s Director, Olaf Hahn, said:

“We would like to help shift the thinking, to change the discourse, the policy and the practice in this critical area to try and ensure that millions of young Africans and their societies have the opportunity to maximize their potential.”

The Secretary General of AAU, Professor Etienne Ehile, together with the AAU’s Head of Research, Professor Jonathan Mba, and Professor Mohammed Salifu, Executive Secretary for NCTE and ESSA Director Dr Olaf Hahn will also be sharing progress on a pilot to model the Demographics of Faculty in Ghana and to produce some resources for Higher Education institutions to assist faculty planning. Other partners in this pilot are world leading demographic analysis team the Population Reference Bureau (PRB) and the MasterCard Foundation.

ESSA Chair and Founder Patrick Dunne and Director Olaf Hahn will also be providing an update on ESSA’s rapid progress since start up in 2016. 

Commenting on ESSA’s progress Uta-Micaela Dürig, Vice Chair of the Board of Management of Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH and Member of the ESSA Board said:

“ESSA has made remarkably swift progress since start up in 2016. Already, as demonstrated by the Demographics of Faculty work and its pilot Scholarship Impact Hub, it is starting to deliver on its core purpose of joining up, inspiring, focusing, informing and increasing impact for everyone investing in education in sub-Saharan Africa. We were absolutely delighted to be ESSA’s first significant Foundation funder.”

About ESSA:

ESSA was founded in 2016 is a registered charity whose vision is to see transformed educational outcomes in sub-Saharan Africa. Its purpose is to join up, inspire, focus, inform and increase impact for everyone investing in education in sub-Saharan Africa. 

Through a series of partnerships its work is already achieving impact. Examples of this other than its ground-breaking work on the Demographics of Faculty include Transforming the Visibility and Accessibility of Research Conducted by African Researchers, its Scholarship Impact Hub Pilot and the development of the first significant Pan-African Academic Jobs Board.

Funders of ESSA include the Robert Bosch Stiftung, the Mastercard Foundation and the Jacobs Foundation and its aim is to have a majority African board and team.



Olaf Hahn
Director, ESSA