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Obaseki shares Edo’s education reforms’ success story at LSE Africa Summit in London

23 Mar 2024

L-R: Professor David Luke; Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, Democratic Republic of the Congo Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Ndolamb Ngokwey; Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Movemeback & The Continent Group, Charles Sekwalor, and Cameroon High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Albert Njoteh Fotabong, on the sidelines of the LSE Africa Summit 2024 in London, United Kingdom, at the weekend.

…dazzles global leaders, participants with impact of EdoBEST programme, others

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, at the weekend, dazzled global and business leaders, policymakers and other participants at the LSE Africa Summit 2024 in London, United Kingdom, with the impact of his administration’s education sector reforms, reeling out how these reforms in the past seven and half years have improved learning outcomes, especially at the foundational level, tackling learning poverty.

The event was held with the theme, “African Minds Transforming Futures: Building Resilient Education Systems.” Obaseki who was a keynote speaker at the forum dazzled the participants with his lecture on, “The Future of Education in Africa: The Role of African Players in Advancing Education in Africa.”

Obaseki, while reiterating the need to sustain investment in education to effectively harness the potential and resourcefulness of Africa’s youthful population, said the continent’s youths hold the key to its sustainable growth and development.

“By 2050, Africa will have at least 33 percent of the global youth population and this population holds the key to shaping our world, our culture, and politics, among others. This gives us immense opportunity to reshape the world. However, a bulk of this population could become a liability if we do not invest in them.”


“So, on one hand, we have this asset that holds the key to Africa’s future and development, and on the other hand is the challenges. I believe that if we have the political will and make strategic investments, build a resilient and dynamic education system, prioritize skills development to address global challenges, and encourage innovation and inclusive governance, we stand a very good chance of resolving and tackling these challenges.”

While identifying obstacles to improving education and youth development in the continent, the governor listed poor infrastructure, lack of teacher training, poverty level and digital divide in accessing necessary technology for education as major obstacles.

He stated, “So if we must build a resilient education system in the region, we must understand that education should not just be seen as constructing buildings and classrooms. It is more about igniting curiosity, fostering critical thinking, and empowering young minds to reach their full potential. We must focus on nurturing the flames of knowledge and inspiration transcending mere bricks and mortar.”

Sharing success stories of the State’s education sector reforms, Obaseki noted, “We had a unique experience when we came on board. We had a huge challenge in terms of education. Edo State at the time was a prime source for human trafficking and illegal migration. Between 2016 and 2017, we had more than 30,000 young Edo boys and girls who had got themselves to Libya to cross over to Europe.

“Our children were significantly underperforming academically; teachers needed more encouragement, support and modern tools and techniques; schools were not properly managed and there was no community ownership of basic education. At the time, the government lacked real-time concrete data for policy making and interventions.”

He added, “We knew we needed to create and strengthen our education ecosystem focusing on foundational learning, on the basis of access, inclusion, and quality control.

“We focused on system strengthening and organizational development, making the institutions stronger to drive these reforms. We also knew that the key to education is teaching. So, we prioritized teachers’ professional development and quality assurance. We also concentrated on curriculum development and learning outcomes as well as community engagement and partnerships, while paying critical attention to school infrastructure and facilities.”

The Governor noted that these efforts and reforms over the past seven and half years have repositioned the State among the top five education accelerator sub-nationals in Africa with radical changes that have positively transformed the education ecosystem.

According to organisers of the LSE Africa Summit, “As Governor, Mr. Obaseki is at the forefront of re-enacting Governance in Nigeria and a strong proponent for the use of technology in Government to deliver efficient services to the people. Today, he leads the only State in Nigeria that has fully adopted e-Governance, ensuring that Government correspondences are paperless.

“His innovative policies/programs include the Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation ‘EdoBEST’, tackling learning poverty through technology, and utilizing public-private partnerships to enhance investment, promote industrialization, and stimulate economic growth in the State.

“He spearheaded the Edo State Oil Palm Programme, positioning Edo as frontrunners in oil palm production in Africa. Additionally, Mr. Obaseki created The Victor Uwaifo Creative Hub, a state-of-the-art facility supporting film and music production to boost opportunities within the creative industry.”

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