UCT vice-chancellor in top 10 list of outstanding individuals in Africa

University of Cape Town (UCT) vice-chancellor, professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, has joined nine other people selected for the new Africa Education Medal.

The award is in recognition of amazing work by the individuals on the continent in the field of education.

Phakeng, who is a finalist, joins the likes of former Tanzanian president and chair of the board of directors at the Global Partnership for Education. She said she hopes her achievement would inspire many other people.

“Being recognised for the work that I am passionate about, with no expectation of a reward, is an incredible honour,” said the vice-chancellor.

“I hope this achievement inspires many more people to pursue their own education, but also enable others to achieve their educational dreams.”

Phakeng is among the world’s leading scholars in mathematics. She became the first black female South African to achieve a PhD in Mathematics Education in 2002 and is determined not to be the last.

In the last two decades, Phakeng has published more than 80 research papers and five edited volumes that continue to shape mathematics in classrooms across Africa and far beyond.

In 2022, she became the first African to be elected chair of the International Alliance of Research Universities, succeeding professor Stephen Toope, the vice-chancellor of the University of Cambridge.

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