Our Innovative Approaches
US Africa Institute designs and implements hybrid, innovative, gender-informed, disability-inclusive education support programs and targeted intervention approaches to be able to encourage girls and women to stay in school, and address institutionalized gender inequality, and meet the learning needs of students with disabilities, ethnic minority students and other vulnerable groups of students in sub-Saharan Africa countries, particularly Niger, Ethiopia, and South Sudan.
Culturally Competent Interventional Programs
The programs create a sacred space for vulnerable groups of students, particularly women and girls, to have the opportunity to discuss, debate and explore the issue of child marriage and other factors that feature in their life such as health and reproductive matters. The program will feature debate panels, drama and games which are integrated into the learning workshops to help ensure that girls and women students develop a sense of confidence to comfortably discussing sexual and reproductive issues impacting their life.
The programs also work to bring a paradigm shift from seeing disability as a clinical and social welfare issue toward recognizing that disability is a fundamental human rights issue and that meeting the development goals of students with disabilities is necessary to meeting overall global development goals.
Integrated Virtual Learning Support (IVLS)
US Africa Institute has launched an Integrated Virtual Learning Support (IVLS) program which is designed in collaboration with US Embassies’ American Space Centers and California State University to build the capacity of African academic institutions, facilitate virtual student and faculty exchange programs, connects African students and U.S. using virtual and digital technologies for collaborative projects and academic support to address gender inequity, promote access to education, and meets the social, academic needs of students with disabilities and other marginalized groups of students. The program provides meaningful and significant learning opportunities for global experience, and meaningful online engagements with educators and faculty based in the U.S.
Given our current experience collaborating with California State University system in the U.S., Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia, African Development University in Niger, and Juba University in South Sudan on Virtual Academic support and partnership demonstrates that our online learning support approach, Integrated Virtual Learning Support (IVLS, is being felt in higher educations in those countries, and have already spent resources to provide every student with tablets and downloadable, offline course materials. In light of these experience of ours, online education could serve as a powerful tool to advance educational equity.
Citizen and Education Diplomacy
Through a citizen and education diplomacy approach, the organization has developed academic partnerships with US-based academic institutions, and the African diaspora communities leveraging the power of citizen diplomacy and mobilizing available human capital and resources in the diaspora to advance the rights of women and girls in Africa.
The cultural and education diplomacy strategy aimed at organizing the diaspora community and mobilizing resources in the United States targeting at removing barriers to gender equity and access to education for all vulnerable groups of students through resource mobilization and recruiting human capital. Our approach is in lieu of African Union Agenda 2063 which affirms the continued relevance of mobilizing the African diaspora and the need to develop a cultural and education diplomacy approach to address educational inequity, and ensure world-class infrastructure for learning and research and support scientific reforms that underpin the transformation of the continent, and sustain investments in higher education, science, technology, research and innovation, and the elimination of gender disparities at all levels of education.