Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe and Senegal win FAWE-ADEA competition for girls’ advancement in secondary education

Winners of the most significant change stories award pose for a picture with ADEA and FAWE staff after the ceremony. Photo credit: FAWE / Photo editing: ADEA

Nairobi, 13th July 2016 - The Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) in partnership with the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) held an award ceremony on 7th July 2016, at the FAWE conference room in Kilimani, Nairobi. The award ceremony recognized the three top most significant change stories coming out of a competition to identify innovative programmes that have greatly contributed to advancing girls’ participation in secondary education in Africa. The findings of the competition will also provide the basis for the development of a compendium of best practices on gender equity in education and training programmes.

Thirty-three key people attended the ceremony, among them were the representatives of the Ministry of Education of Burundi, Mali, Senegal, Uganda and Zambia as well as representatives of ADEA and FAWE national chapters. The ceremony began with the remarks from FAWE Executive Director, Ms. Hendrina Doroba, who welcomed all participants and acknowledged that the event was made possible by the strong partnership between ADEA and FAWE.

The top three most innovative stories were selected using the criteria of access, retention and performance. The first prize went to Ms. Agnes Feima Kenneh from Sierra Leone, who won $2,750. The award was presented by FAWE Executive Director Hendrina Doroba. The 1st runner-up was the Chiedza Child Care Centre from Zimbabwe, which won $1,800. The award was presented by the Coordinator of the ADEA Working Group on Education Management and Policy Support (WGEMPS), Mr. Makha Ndao. The 2nd runner-up was Ms. Fatoumata Cisse from Senegal, who won $900. The award was presented by a representative from the Ministry of Education of Mali, Mr. Konate Kounadi Keita.

The most significant change story was a joint competition launched on Thursday, 19th November 2015, in order to map innovative programmes that have advanced girls’ secondary education in the African continent.The initiative involved 6 countries namely Mali, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe with each submitting its own top three stories. A total of 18 stories were reviewed and ranked by FAWE and ADEA’s team. They were later submitted to a panel of 3 judges who were representatives from the Ministry of Education of Burundi and Kenya as well as UNESCO office in Kenya.

The winner of the award Ms. Agnes Feima Kenneh thanked FAWE and ADEA for creating a platform to recognize practices that would improve girl’s education.

She said: “I am a beneficiary of FAWE’s program that provided education to children in Sierra Leone who were displaced during the war. I appreciate such gatherings that bring people together to brainstorm on how to better girl’s education because it would help other girls like me who are faced with many challenges in their pursuit for education and think of dropping out of school”.

Mr. Makha Ndao, WGEMPS Coordinator, who represented the ADEA Executive Secretary, Ms. Oley Dibba-Wadda congratulated the three winners. He also stated that ADEA will collaborate with Ministries of Education, FAWE as well as representatives of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and civil society organizations (CSOs) to ensure these “top innovative programmes” create a substantial impact not only in the winners’ respective countries but also at the continental level.


  • Martha Muhwezi, Senior Programme Coordinating Officer, FAWE, E: [email protected]
  • Chemwi Mutiwanyuka, Programme Analyst, ADEA’s Working Group on Education Management and Policy Support (WGEMPS), E: [email protected]
  • Stefano De Cupis, Senior Communication Officer, ADEA, E: [email protected]

About FAWE:

FAWE is a pan-African Non-Governmental Organization working in 33 African countries to empower girls and women through gender-responsive education. FAWE was founded in 1992 by five African women ministers of education and it was created on the staunch belief that women in decision-making positions have the potential to make a significant difference.

About ADEA:

The Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) is a forum for policy dialogue, composed of all the 54 Ministers of Education in Africa. Established in 1988 at the instigation of the World Bank Group, it has evolved into a pan-African institution based within the African Development Bank Group (AfDB). ADEA’s work has expanded to focus more on the development of skills and competencies across all the education sub-sectors. It envisions a “high-quality African education and training system that is geared towards the promotion of critical knowledge and skills for accelerated and sustainable development in Africa”.