Web Accessibility Support

Howard University Joins Atlanta University Center Institutions to Announce EDTECH Africa Initiative

Howard University Joins Atlanta University Center Institutions to Announce EDTECH Africa Initiative

On Tuesday, May 21, Howard University President Ben Vinson III, Ph.D., joined leaders from the Atlanta University Consortium (AUC) to announce the establishment of EDTECH Africa, an initiative serving as an emerging technology bridge between Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and African scholars aimed at cultivating educational exchanges in the ever-evolving landscape of emerging technology. 

The announcement, made at Spelman College, was done in collaboration with the governments of Kenya, the United States, Microsoft and Mastercard’s Center for Inclusive Growth. 

“As technology brings our global community closer together, it's crucial that those in the African diaspora have the resources to accelerate transformation,” Vinson said. “I want to thank my fellow presidents at Spelman College, Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University for ensuring that our institutions can enter into a partnership with the Government of Kenya that will invest in a shared future through higher education. This collaboration aims to strengthen Kenya's higher education system and prepare a new generation of Kenyan leaders to drive the development of a resilient and prosperous nation.” 

 “Furthermore, I want to acknowledge the support from Mastercard, Microsoft and our own government, creating a relationship that builds a technological bridge between HBCUs and African scholars. This is truly how we propel the diaspora forward with maximum strength.” 

In addition to the establishment of EDTECH Africa, Microsoft will also invest $500,000 to support HBCU and Kenyan students engaged in research at the Microsoft Africa Research Institute (MARI) in Nairobi, Kenya. Microsoft’s commitment adds to its recent contribution of $350,000 for the AUC Data Science Initiative to establish a network of data science faculty across HBCUs expanding their research capacity and professional development.  

Microsoft also contributed nearly $4 million as part of its more than $11 million in existing direct support to nearly 20 HBCUs. Complementing these efforts, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will invest $850,000 to facilitate EDTECH Africa between HBCUs and Kenyan universities. 

The announcement was made during a special Kenyan state visit to Atlanta planned to address investments for a shared future through higher education. The program featured remarks by Spelman College President Helene Gayle, MD, Ph.D., USAID Counselor Clinton White, Kenyan President William Ruto and Vinson, who spoke to the importance of HBCU, African University and STEM partnerships.  

There was also a panel discussion on STEM featuring April Arnzen, executive vice president and Chief People Officer with Micron Technology; Talitha Washington, director of the Atlanta University Center Consortium Data Science Initiative; Peter M. Muchiri, vice chancellor of Dedan Kimathi University in Kenya; James More, assistant director for the Directorate for STEM Education; and George French, president of Clark Atlanta University.