Introduction

The Strengthening of Mathematics and Science Education in Africa (SMASE-Africa) is a network of African countries started in the year 2001 as an initiative for addressing challenges facing mathematics and science education in Africa. SMASE Africa is Pan-African Organization that brings together over twenty seven [27] countries of Africa. It is registered in Kenya under the Societies Act CAP 104 of the Laws of Kenya and its Secretariat and headquarters are located in Nairobi Kenya at the Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education in Africa (CEMASTEA).

The aim of the network was to create synergy in promoting dialogue on effective classroom practices in mathematics, science and technology education through research, fostering relevant policies, networking, collaboration, advocacy and capacity building in Africa.

Since inception, over 1,500 educators from the 27 member countries have benefited from the platform through training programmes, regional conferences, technical workshops and technical exchange visits. These were funded by development partners such as Japan International Cooperation Agency [JICA] in collaboration with Kenya government. The focus of the various programmes are innovative practices that are replicable in member countries. SMASE-Africa has also, since inception, successfully organized 16 international conferences and three regional technical workshops.

Historical Background

The history of SMASE-Africa is closely intertwined with the Strengthening of Mathematics and Science in Secondary Education (SMASSE) Project in Kenya. The initiation of SMASSE – Kenya to address the challenge of low student achievement in mathematics and science at secondary school level in collaboration with Japan International Cooperation Agency in 1998 informed other countries in Africa on the need to create the Strengthening of Mathematics and Science in Secondary Education in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa [SMASSE-ECSA] Association in 2001. SMASSE-ECSA evolved into SMASSE in Western, Eastern, Central and Southern Africa [WECSA] in 2003. In its early years of implementation, SMASSE Project demonstrated its potential to impact positively on teacher classroom practices. It is the initial successes of the SMASSE Project in Kenya that led other African countries facing similar challenges to start the SMASSE-WECSA. This was later changed to Strengthening of Mathematics and Science Education [SMASE] in 2006 to accommodate the primary training programmes that were being implemented in some member countries.  The Africa Union Commission (AUC) challenged the delegates in 2013 to transform the Association into a Pan-African organization that covers all African countries. This saw the delegates meeting in 2013 approve the name change to SMASE-Africa, which opened up membership to the entire continent. SMASE-Africa was thus registered in Kenya under the Societies Act in 2014.

 

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