Who we are


Who we are

Why we do our work

  • Why we do our work

    The potential of young people in sub-Saharan Africa: By 2050, Africa’s young population will increase by nearly 50%, and 450 million workers are projected to join the workforce in the next decade. Quality education and jobs for the world’s largest youth population could lift millions from poverty and strengthen societies globally. But without these opportunities, the world faces the risk of migration and unrest. 

    Filling the knowledge gap: Decisions should be taken based on evidence to maximise scarce resources and improve young people’s lives. ​Yet, there are big gaps in data and evidence about education for young people and its relevance for work. ​

    We do not know where young people go after they leave college or university, the number of university and college staff and academics needed to educate students, and how COVID-19 has impacted the financial strength of universities and colleges and their ability to teach. This leads to low, badly targeted investment. We want to change this.

  • What we do
    • Identify the biggest issues in tertiary education​, driven by the needs of young people, educators, and employers.  ​

    • Build influential partnerships with organisations that want to improve education in Africa and beyond.​

    • Understand what data and evidence is needed for change​. 

    • Turn data and evidence into action: finding practical solutions, maximising resources, and attracting investment.

    • Harness the power of Africa’s universities, colleges, and businesses to advocate solutions at scale​.

    • Improve education and increase work for young people in sub-Saharan Africa​.

    Our work is aligned to Sustainable Development Goals: ​Quality Education and Decent Work, and ​the Africa Union Agenda 2063

  • Where we work

    Our work is relevant across sub-Saharan Africa and for the period 2021-2026, we will focus most on:

    • Ghana 

    • Kenya 

    • Uganda 

    • Zambia 

    Who we reach with our work and how we reach them is critical for us to be able to make a difference. Our work has relevance across the continent, but we are a small organisation and recognise that there is no "one size fits all" approach to development. ESSA therefore takes a country-specific emphasis to its work, co-creating and producing relevant, fit-for purpose, useful and usable evidence to partners at the national and institutional levels.