Education Africa is a social-entrepreneur-driven project and was conceptualised in 1989 by James Urdang, the current Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Education Africa. Over the years, James was fortunate to have been mentored by the late Walter Sisulu and the late Dr Aggrey Klaaste, former Editor-in-Chief of The Sowetan who became the organisation’s first chairman in 1992, when Education Africa was officially registered. Both Walter Sisulu and Dr Klaaste remained strong and active supporters of Education Africa and our projects until their passing, and under their guidance, we were able to establish valuable contacts in government departments as well as the support of government leaders.
Education Africa is a Non-Profit Organization which aims to assist disadvantaged South Africans in their quest to obtain a quality, relevant education in order to ensure that they are in a position to become global citizens and a competitive, productive element in the local job market. Education Africa aims for an educated nation, which in turn will lead to a progressive nation that is in a position to sustain economic growth.
Over the years, Education Africa has aligned itself with “striving to assist in re-establishing a culture of learning and teaching”, and more recently our guiding principles have been “Making real change Happen” by implementing “Poverty alleviation through Education”. Our focus though remains the same – to make a meaningful contribution to the educational growth and development of previously disadvantaged communities. Our motto is: Educate ∙ Equip ∙ Empower.
It is now 20 years since South Africa has become a democracy, and sadly there is still an enormous amount of work to be done in terms of building the country’s education system. The National Departments of Basic Education and Higher Education have their work cut out for themselves, and there remains a very real need for organisations like Education Africa to contribute to change. There are too many disadvantaged communities (both in South Africa and beyond) who are still denied access to quality education. At Education Africa, we are committed to help facilitate this change and make a meaningful contribution. To be able to achieve this successfully we acknowledge that we need to make some changes within our own organisation and implement a Strategic Plan which will set us on a course that will provide for the future development of the organisation. This in turn will allow us to set a course that will provide for sustainability – short term and medium term growth which must ultimately lead to long-term stability.