HALI Indaba 2020, September 16 – September 17

The HALI Indaba is an annual gathering of non-profit organizations and schools united in one mission: to support high-achieving, low-income students from across Africa in their search for a quality university education.  So far HALI has held three Indaba gatherings of members, the first held in Zimbabwe in April 2016 the second in Rwanda in April 2017, and the third in Kenya in April 2018.  The Indabas have brought HALI organizations, admissions officers and relevant stakeholders together to share our experiences, our strategies and our stories.

People who have started initiatives to assist high-achieving, low-income African students to access international educational opportunities, especially generous financial aid and scholarship funds offered by some colleges and universities in the United States, rarely have the opportunity to meet.  When they do, it is in twos or threes at U.S. or European-based conferences where they have been invited to present.

Believing that the sum can be greater than the parts, the High Achieving Low Income (HALI) Indabas, which take place annually in April are an opportunity for leaders of organizations and initiatives across Africa to share best practices for supporting high-achieving, low-income African students in their pursuit of higher education internationally.  The 2019 Indaba will take place April 25-29 in Ghana.

The 2016 gathering, which took place in April at Chengeta Lodge in Zimbabwe, was sponsored by the Higher Life Foundation and provided an opportunity for participants to learn from each other in areas that include standardized testing prep, ethics and discussion of actual case studies, pre-departure orientation, follow through during the degree, program selection processes and more.

Participants were key leaders (founders/directors)  of 21 organizations from across the continent who were specifically invited based on their impact.  Under the theme “Got Access?”, the event was conceived of and organized by Rebecca Zeigler Mano, Founder/Director  of the United States Achievers Program (USAP) and Director of Education Matters in Zimbabwe and Rebekah Westphal, Director of International Admissions at Yale University.

The 2017 HALI Indaba, hosted by Bridge 2 Rwanda and sponsored by the MasterCard Foundation, took place at the Moriah Hill Resort on Lake Kivu from 24-27 April 2017.  The theme “From Access to Success” moved the conversation forward from accessing higher education for HALI students to supporting them to succeed.  At the 2017 Indaba, the members solidified the governance structures of the association, forming Communications, Membership, Advocacy, Ethics and Indaba Planning Committees.  Rebecca Zeigler Mano of Education Matters was elected chair for 2017-18 and Laura Kaub of YYAS was elected chair elect for the HALI Access Network Secretariat.

Read more about the 2017 HALI Indaba through reflections from member organizations Yale Young African Scholars , East African Scholars Fund and the University of Wisconsin .

The 2018 Indaba took place at Lake Elementaita and was a larger event with nearly 50 participants including 12 university representatives.  Laura Kaub assumed her role as Chair for the 2018-19 season with Salia Daub of Nolbed elected as Chair-Elect.  You can read more about the 2018 Indaba in blogs written by Pestalozzi and Open Dreams.

The 2019 Indaba took place in Ghana at Aqua Safari with over 50 participants including university representatives from the Continent, North America, Europe and Middle East.  Salia Daud of Nolbed assumed his role as Chair for the 2019-20 season with Efua Adabie of African Science Academy elected as Chair-Elect. The theme from “Success to Support” inspired the dialogue on how best to support our students from conflict regions, mental health awareness & support and how to encourage a smooth transition of our graduates back into the continent. You can read more about the 2019 Indaba in this blog post by The Knowledge Institute in Eswatini.