The RISE Podcast: Modupe Adefeso-Olateju on How Public-Private Partners Can Come Together to Solve Nigeria’s Learning Crisis

Onyebuchi Ajufo speaks to Modupe Adefeso-Olateju about foundational learning in Nigeria, the importance of data, and the role of public-private partnerships for improving children’s outcomes.


Image of Modupe Adefeso-Olateju

Modupe Adefeso-Olateju

The Education Partnership (TEP) Centre

Image of Onyebuchi Ajufo

Onyebuchi Ajufo

Hudson Sandler

In this episode, Onyebuchi Ajufo, an advocacy and communications specialist and former Director of Communications and Advocacy at Africa Practice, speaks to Modupe Adefeso-Olateju, Managing Director of Nigeria’s pioneering education partnership organisation, the Education Partnership (TEP) Centre, where she leads the LEARNigeria citizen-led assessment and advocacy programme. They talk about the inspiration for Mo’s work to improve foundational learning in Nigeria; the importance of data for understanding the extent of the crisis, and as a tool to inform policy; and the role of public-private partnerships for improving children’s outcomes. Mo also speaks about Human Capital Africa’s recent call to action for African policymakers to make foundational learning their top priority.

Africa Practice, the Education Partnerships Centre, and LEARNigeria are members of RISE’s Community of Practice, a group of practitioners and implementers who work on the frontlines of education in countries around the world, and come together to share lessons to improve learning outcomes for all children.

Guest biographies

Modupe Adefeso-Olateju

Dr. Modupe (Mo) Adefeso-Olateju is a recognised policy expert specialising in public-private collaboration in education and with keen interests in education innovation and foundational literacy and numeracy. She is Managing Director of Nigeria’s pioneering education partnership organisation, the Education Partnership (TEP) Centre, where she leads the LEARNigeria citizen-led assessment and advocacy programme.  She co-established the annual pan-African education innovation summit, NEDIS, which is now in its 7th year. 

Mo supports policymakers, international think tanks, and corporations, and leads workstreams on a range of education sector support initiatives funded by government agencies, multilateral organisations, and corporate funders. She drafted a section of Nigeria’s 2011-2015 education strategy and is a member of the technical team which is developing Nigeria’s Medium- and Long-Term Strategic Plans. She is a Commissioner on the Global Commission on Evidence to Address Societal Challenges (Evidence Commission) at McMaster University. She provides advice and guidance on technical review and advisory committees convened by UNESCO GEM Report, Education Cannot Wait, Global Partnership for Education (GPE), Global Schools Forum, Lego Foundation, and Lever for Change. Mo has also offered technical advice on scaling education innovation to the Millions Learning 2.0 Programme of the Brookings Institution Center for Universal Education (CUE). She serves on the boards of Malala Fund, Human Capital Africa, Slum2School Africa, and Unveiling Africa Foundation Nigeria. She is also a member of the advisory board of the People’s Action for Learning (PAL) Network, Nairobi. Mo works to improve the employability of young Africans as a Mentor on The Global Grid of Nexford; an innovative online university.  

As a Centenary Scholar, she graduated from University College London’s Institute of Education (UCL-IOE) with a PhD in Education and International Development, and holds a Masters’ degree with distinction from the same university. She is a Fellow of the Asia-Global Institute in Hong Kong.

Onyebuchi Ajufo

Onyebuchi (Buchi) Ajufoi is a Partner at Hudson Sandler and is in charge of its West Africa Business. She is an Advocacy and Communications specialist, helping public and private sector players navigate complex stakeholder ecosystems- galvanising support and building coalitions, improving the policy environment, raising awareness of critical socioeconomic issues while building the capacity and the trust required to deliver socioeconomic impact. She has over 15 years experience working across Africa, the Middle East and the United Kingdom. 

In her previous role as Director, Advocacy and Communications at Africa Practice, she managed a team across the continent working to dismantle many of the barriers impeding sustainable development across Africa, in areas including education, nutrition, financial inclusion, access to water, and gender equality. This work has seen her collaborate with organisations including The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, CDC Group, World Bank, Co-Impact, Human Capital Africa, Coca-Cola, and more. 

Buchi has a first degree in Psychology and a Masters in Business Analytics from The University of Warwick


RISE is funded by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office; Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The Programme is implemented through a partnership between Oxford Policy Management and the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford. The Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford supports the production of the RISE Podcast.

Producers: Joseph Bullough and Katie Cooper

Audio Editing: James Morris

RISE blog posts and podcasts reflect the views of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the organisation or our funders.