Business and Economy

Two African Projects win Global Innovation Award for Education

Two education projects serving Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Liberia have been recognized as WISE Awards winners for their work in education. The World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE)(, a Qatar Foundation (QF) initiative, has revealed the winners of the 2019 WISE Awards. Each year, the WISE Awards recognize and promote six innovative projects from across the world that address global educational challenges.

The Akilah Institute (, a women’s college in Rwanda, founded in Washington, D.C., is an award-winning institute that prepares students to solve the world’s most pressing challenges through a curriculum based on 21st century skills, personalized learning, ethical leadership and sustainability. Akilah’s unique model leverages technology, competency-based education, and personalized learning to offer a transformative learning experience that puts graduates on the fast track to success. 

Elizabeth Dearborn Hughes, Akilah’s CEO and Co-founder, commented: “We are incredibly honored to receive this award, and grateful to WISE and the Qatar Foundation for recognizing and supporting the pioneering work Akilah is doing to transform higher education for women in East Africa.”

Family Business for Education (Street Child) (, based in the UK, supports low-income families in Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Liberia with support packages to help fund children’s’ education, including financial aid, business training, planning support, mentoring and access to incentivised savings schemes and loans. Since 2009, the project has supported over 15,000 families.

Tom Dannatt, Founder and CEO of Street Child stated: “We are delighted that Street Child’s Family Business for Education model has been recognised by WISE for its transformative impact on some of the world’s poorest children and families in Sierra Leone. With the support of WISE, I am excited by this opportunity to further replicate the programme in

other countries where we work, helping even more children access education.”

The other 2019 WISE Awards winners include: United World Schools: Teaching the Unreached (UK/Cambodia, Nepal and Myanmar) (, Micro:bit Educational Foundation (UK/Global) (, Programa Criança Feliz (Brazil) ( and Arpan’s Personal Safety Education Programme (India) (

The projects will be celebrated during the WISE Global Summit from November 19- 21, 2019 in Doha, Qatar. The theme of the global Summit is “UnLearn, ReLearn: What it means to be Human” ( In addition to publicity and networking opportunities, each will receive $20,000 (US).

For more information about the WISE Awards (

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