Last week, four schools and eight teachers from across sub-Saharan Africa were nominated amongst the world’s best as part of Microsoft’s 2014 class of Mentor Schools and the Inaugural Class of Expert Educators. These exclusive one year programmes recognise visionary educators who are using technology to improve student outcomes, equip them with 21st century skills, and who are paving the way for other teachers by demonstrating the effective use of technology in learning.

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“At Microsoft, we strongly believe in the role that well-prepared educators play in helping today’s youth overcome the emerging opportunity divide and guiding them toward the education, skills and opportunities they need to prosper in the hyper-connected era,” says Djam Bakhshandegi, Director of Corporate Citizenship and Partners in Learning, West East, Central Africa & Indian Ocean Islands.

Currently, nearly one in three people in sub-Saharan Africa are between the ages of 10 and 24. By 2050, this number is projected to double, according to the World's Youth 2013 Data Sheet. This is why it is essential now more than ever to invest in the education of youth in the region, which in turn, will improve the potential for economic growth and development.

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