Unreasonable Africa: From Tsakane to Oxford


This weekend, African School for Excellence Co-founder, Nonhlanhla Masina, takes to stage alongside Trevor Manuel and a host of Africa’s boldest leaders of industry, entrepreneurs and decision makers, to explore the Oxford Business Forum theme of: ‘Unreasonable Africa’.

Oxford Business Forum Africa is recognizing the progression of the African continent through entrepreneurs and individuals who have dared to find the solutions and opportunities beyond the expected; recognizing that education plays a critical role in laying the building blocks necessary for the continent to flourish, yet sadly, the formal education systems across the continent aren’t achieving this reliably.


Looking at the selected theme for 2016, one is reminded of what we’re often told of the vision of ASE by new friends and supporters, that it’s audacious, that it’s challenging the status quo of a currently less than efficient education system, encouraging of independent thinking, and determined to solve the challenge of providing world-class education at affordable cost.
Hosted jointly by Saïd Business School and the Oxford Business Network for Africa, the Oxford Business Forum Africa 2016 will explore the reality of business in Africa with the aim of increasing awareness of the opportunities on the continent, creating meaningful connections, and generating actionable insights. The theme of this year’s forum is ‘Unreasonable Africa’ which focuses on celebrating and understanding the bold visions, decisions, and successes of business people on the continent.


The Oxford Business Forum Africa brings together distinguished leaders from top companies, innovative start-ups, government, and civil society from across Africa with thought leaders, students, and alumni from Oxford University to discuss business in Africa.
It is said never judge a person before you have walked a mile in their shoes. Nonhlanhla Masina has walked miles; both to attend school, and in building the vision that is now African School for Excellence, a low cost private school in Tsakane, an undeserved township in South Africa, founded in 2013. Along with co-founder, Jay Kloppenberg, they recognized the yawning chasm in our education system and created a model attracting invitations from the likes of Oxford Business Forum to share their learnings on a global stage. Having come from Tsakane herself and gone through the traditional schooling system, Nonhlanhla has an inherent understanding, knowledge, and empathy towards the state of the education system in South Africa.


Nonhlanhla will speak alongside names such as Trevor Manuel who served as a South African cabinet minister from 1994-2014, and is now senior adviser to the Rothschild Group worldwide, as well as Dolika Banda, a Zambian national with over 25 years of global experience in international banking and financial management. In recent years she has brought her global experience to bear with a specific focus on banking and economic development in sub-Saharan Africa in particular.