As a South African, I grew up acutely aware of the benefits I was afforded, raised relatively privileged in the most unequal country in the world. I had a great education and consequently, great opportunities, while most in my country (9 out of 10) will not earn more than their parents in their lifetime. Being a foreigner in France, where I currently live, is the first time I have felt a modicum of the marginalisation experienced by the majority in South Africa everyday, throughout their lives. 

As a member of the ‘born-free’ generation (the first after apartheid ended), I also grew up conscious of the suffering and hope that this country had to offer. Education was seen as the key to unlock our potential, by Nelson Mandela and many others. I come from a long line of activists (all the way back to my great-grandmother) who protested against the injustice of apartheid over 60 cumulative years. Growing up hearing my family’s stories gave me a profound appreciation for social justice. This is what drew me to the Learning Planet Institute, with its mission to join forces in efforts to transform education – making it universally accessible in all senses of the word. 

Africa is a continent often neglected by the global agenda, despite its vast size and significance. In my small way, I am attempting to be part of a solution to this, and continue my family legacy of incrementally improving the world I was born into, by honing in on ongoing African-led transformative efforts. Through LearningPlanet, I am committed to ensuring that innovative African initiatives across the continent are honoured and showcased during our upcoming LearningPlanet Festival, starting on the International Day of Education, 24 January 2023. 

This annual Festival is uniquely positioned to connect African initiatives to our global network and vice versa. For our 4th edition, we are partnering with Club of Rome Africa, BRIDGES Sustainability Science Coalition’s African Hub (University of Pretoria – in South Africa), All-African Students Union, and others to highlight the invaluable work they are doing to further African development locally and globally. This Festival will provide a space for African youth initiatives and organisations to present their work and connect with the larger global network.

Our focus on Africa goes beyond the Festival, as our flagship Ubuntu Learning Circle has been meeting regularly throughout 2022 to provide a space for African youth initiatives and organisations to be heard and work through challenges they face with our diverse network of academics, NGOs, activists, youth leaders and international organisations.

The Ubuntu Learning Circle is a community of practitioners, activists, organisations and academics who are interested in African-led projects across the continent. The Ubuntu Learning Circle Festival session, African Youth Reinventing Their Future, is at the core of this community’s values and mission to empower youth collectively by amplifying their voice. Please join us for this session on Friday, January 27th at 10 am CET to learn from our inspiring community members.

While we do have access to a multitude of organisations and voices, we would like to include more. We are inviting African-led initiatives to submit their ideas for events to be featured as part of this international programme. If you are interested or would like to refer someone to host their own event at the LearningPlanet Festival in January 2023, get in touch here.

With over 300 partners already on board, we are excited to be showcasing African excellence and locally-led initiatives to our international community. This is mutually beneficial as it enhances your impact on a global scale, and allows our international network to celebrate and connect with you about your valuable work. At LearningPlanet, we believe that education should be available and accessible to everyone. We are committed to ensuring that African initiatives are given the platform, resources and support that they need to succeed.

Some of our African-led events for this edition are brought to you by: 

  • All-Africa Students Union across the African continent – see their interview with LP in this week’s English newsletter!

Meet Katherine

Katherina Brown_South African

Katherine is a Project Manager in the LearningPlanet Alliance team, and leads the African Engagement strategy. This includes the Ubuntu Learning Circle, which brings activists and practitioners of indigenous knowledge together monthly to discuss how to champion African-led initiatives on the continent and globally. 

Personal Website