The key to IB growth and development in Africa is to better understand the context within which African schools operate and create strategic partnerships with key stakeholders.Here’s to the next 40 years!

Adzo Ashie - IB Regional Manager for Africa

Approaching 40 years of the IB in Africa

As IB presence in Africa approaches its 40th anniversary in 2017, we take a look at developments across the continent and the growing appetite to offer an IB education.

Since the first school in Africa offered an IB programme in 1977, at the International School of Moshi in Tanzania, 128 IB programmes are now offered by 80 schools in 28 countries across the continent – that’s an IB World School in more than half of the 54 African countries.

Egypt and Morocco have the most IB World Schools on the continent, at 14 and 9 respectively. With the exception of Egypt, all the schools are private or independent institutions. In Nigeria, Botswana, Swaziland and Lesotho the government provides scholarships to select Diploma Programme (DP) students.

The IB Regional Manager for Africa, Adzo Ashie, says, “We’ve made significant advances to increase our support for IB educators and schools in Africa, including the biannual IB Africa Symposium and the recruitment of my role dedicated to the IB in Africa. It was extremely rewarding to sign the Memorandum of Understanding in 2014 with the Association of African Universities (AAU) who have a membership of 300 African universities. And a group of dedicated Recognition Ambassadors have led efforts to boost recognition of the IB with governments and universities in Zambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, South Africa and Botswana.”

By focusing efforts on identifying key university destinations for DP students, such as South Africa, Kenya, and Ghana, recognition statements in these countries have significantly improved and increased.

In April 2016, the Regional Council members for Africa, Europe and Middle East (AEM) discussed two key areas of IB development in Africa - a pathway for schools interested in the IB to gain support for successfully implementing an IB programme, and outlining a clear strategy for assessing IB growth on the continent. For example, existing IB World Schools in Africa could become hubs of best practice, organizations could be identified with the potential to become Professional Development Centres and IB Educator Certificate Centres, and research partners would be engaged to help the IB better meet the educational needs of schools and students in Africa.

"The value of an IB education is becoming increasingly apparent from the success of IB graduates from African schools. Coupled with this is an expansion of African economies—and the associated growth of middle income homes that is enabling families to invest more on their child’s education—has generated interest for an IB education from schools across the continent,” said Mr Titi Ofei, Head of SOS-Hermann Gmeiner International College and AEM Regional Council Member.

Ashie adds, “The key to IB growth and development in Africa is to better understand the context within which African schools operate and create strategic partnerships with key stakeholders. Here’s to the next 40 years!”

Look out for videos of the IB in action at schools in Nairobi, available soon.