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Today we look at entrepreneurship education in Tanzania. You might be asking yourself, “Hey, didn’t FreshEd recently discuss entrepreneurship education in Rwanda?” You’re right. We did.

Obviously, the idea of entrepreneurship education is a global phenomenon, found in many different countries. As such, we need to understand what it is in each local context, who is promoting, how it is spreading, and what it means for education and society.

My guest today is Joan DeJaeghere. She has a new book out called Educating Entrepreneurial Citizens: Neoliberalism and youth livelihoods in Tanzania. For Joan, entrepreneurship education cannot be separated from neoliberalism, the contemporary form of capitalism that emerged in the 1970s.

Her book explores the multiple and contradictory purposes and effects of entrepreneurship education aimed at addressing youth unemployment and alleviating poverty in Tanzania.

Joan DeJaeghere is a Professor of Comparative and International Development Education in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development at the University of Minnesota.

Citation: DeJaeghere, Joan, interview with Will Brehm, FreshEd, 84, podcast audio, July 31, 2017. https://www.freshedpodcast.com/joandejaeghere/

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Rwanda is perhaps most well-known for the genocide it experienced in the 1990s. In its post-conflict development, the country has had to balance colonial legacies, state centralizing tendencies, and the zeitgeist of neoliberalism. This has made for a careful balancing — one that has left the government regulating the society and economy while simultaneously reducing its responsibility to citizens.

In education, this balancing act manifests in the government’s three aims: credentials, controls, and creativity. The education system is based on credentials awarded through examinations, a colonial hangover, and controls students as part of the state’s centralization efforts; yet, somehow, the system promotes creativity so students can pursue a learner-centered education tailored to their own needs, preparing them for the 21st century labor market of precarious work.

My guest today, Catherine Honeyman, has a new book that explores Rwanda’s opportunities, challenges, and paradoxes in post-conflict development through the policy of mandatory entrepreneurship education, which is believed to be the country’s beacon for economic growth. Catherine Honeyman is a visiting scholar at the Duke Center for International Development and Managing Director of Ishya Consulting. Her new book, The Orderly Entrepreneur, takes us inside both policy making circles and classrooms to understand part of Rwanda’s social transformation. The Orderly Entrepreneur received an honorable mention from the Globalization and Education SIG’s 2016 Book Award.

Citation: Honeyman, Catherine, A., interview with Will Brehm, FreshEd, 64, podcast audio, March 13, 2017. https://www.freshedpodcast.com/catherinehoneyman/

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Rui da Silva joins me today to talk about his PhD research on Portuguese Aid to Guinea-Bissau. Rui is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Education, University of Minho. He is also a board member of the Centre of African Studies of the Oporto University.

Guinea Bissau is a small state in West Africa that was formally colonized by Portugal. Since independence in the 1970s, the country has experienced tremendous political instability. As such, the educational development that has been undertaken in the country has been precarious. On top of this, there are many colonial legacies that make educational provision difficult. For instance, although Portuguese is the official language and language of instruction in public schools, only a handful of people in the country actually speak it.

In our conversation, Rui details this history and the attempts at educational development by different organizations. He’s recently co-written articles on these topics that appear in the journals Compare and Globalisation, Societies and Education.

 

Over a hundred billion dollars are spent on international aid each year. Most aid providers undergo periodic evaluations to assess their support. Have their policies worked? What priorities have guided aid? And what practices have been effective?

With such large sums of money circulating in the evaluation process, an aid evaluation industry has emerged. Formal evaluations are undertaken by “experts” who are hired by companies that bid on evaluation contracts. Sometimes universities themselves bid on the same contracts. And professors navigate the tricky terrain of research-for-hire. Many of FreshEd’s listeners have likely participated in an evaluation of an aid project. I know I have.

My guest today, Professor Joel Samoff, thinks it’s long overdue to “re-think evaluations, from conception through method to use.”

Joel Samoff is Adjunct Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences at the Center for African Studies at Stanford University. He studies and teaches about development and underdevelopment, with a particular interest in education, and with a primary geographic focus on Africa. He has recently co-written a report for The Expert Group for Aid Studies entitled Capturing complexity and context: evaluating aid to education.

CORRECTIONS [January 31, 2017]: In the podcast, I state that there are “hundreds of billions of dollars” spent on aid each year. That number is likely exaggerated. A more accurate figure would be a hundred billion dollars (see here or here). Also, I misstated Joel Samoff’s title. Since Stanford University retired the title “Consulting Professor” in September 2016, his correct title should be “Adjunct Professor.” I’ve corrected the blog post accordingly and apologize for the mistakes in the podcast.

Citation: Samoff, Joel, interview with Will Brehm, FreshEd, 58, podcast audio, January 30, 2017. https://freshedpodcast.com/joelsamoff/

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