A center learning and innovation for children

ImagiNation Afrika (IA), transforms the way African children perceive themselves and their capacity to contribute to development
Since its creation in 2011, through its creative and educational programs, it has created learning spaces where children themselves are active learners and producers of new knowledge that are valuable through play. IA believes in a world of African child changers who solve development problems and imagine the Africa of 2025 powerfully led by young people who can think and creatively solve problems.

Karima Grant, Director ImagiNation Afrika

Karima Grant is the founder of ImagiNation Afrika, West Africa’s first children’s learning and innovation hub. She directs a team creating innovative educational programming integrating local culture, play and experiential learning to develop creative and critical thinking in children aged from 6 months to 19 years. She seeks to facilitate the learning and development of at least 10,000 of the continent’s young hjkkjchangemakers. Karima designs and leads programs, manages fundraising, and runs the organization’s intern program which trains new university graduates in program management. To date, ImagiNation Afrika’s programs have reached over 8,000 children in Dakar, its suburbs, and three regions of Senegal.

Previously, Karima was a leadership consultant focused on designing and delivering high impact interactive transformative leadership programs focusing on creating breakthroughs for the private sector (including Nokia, Total, Nestle), NGOs and donor organizations (Save the Children, British Council, IRDC, Dalberg Global Development Advisors, TrustAfrica, IDB) and the public sector (Senegalese Ministry of Education and Health). Program content included communication, personal leadership competencies, strategic thinking, working with difference, systems thinking, and change management.

Before consulting, she was a member of the Trust the Difference Leadership Programme’s Pan African team, dedicated to delivering excellence in experiential leadership training for over 200 participants working throughout the UK and Africa in a diversity of institutions, organizations, and communities dedicated to democracy, development, peace, trust, and human rights in Africa.

OUR STORY

ImagiNation Afrika began with the work of educator, author and coach Karima Grant. In 2007 she organized a series of successful writing and illustration workshops that enabled 40 young authors from the Fass district of Dakar to publish their first book, arousing her desire to create a space that encouraged children to achieve their biggest dreams.

Karima, as well as a core group of individuals dedicated to creating innovative learning opportunities for children, launched the first IA exhibition, Union Made Beauty (in Unity, Beauty) in December 2011 at the Leopold Sedar Senghor Institute in Dakar. The exhibition allowed children in Dakar schools to explore the intersection of mathematics and art through the creation of a “forest” of Sierpinski triangles. Young people, from primary to secondary, have created an exhibition that links fractal concepts, architecture of African villages and cities, natural sciences and mathematics through play, and exchanges of interdisciplinary learning with local artists.

OUR STORY (Suite)

Karima and his team followed with Poesie of the Sky an exploration of a day of art, astronomy and fairy tales, in collaboration with Senegalese astronomy Maram Kaire and the Senegalese Association for the Promotion of Astronomy.

IA then won the prestigious Museums Connect Award from the American Alliance of Museums, and used it to launch Next Stop: Brooklyn / Dakar in partnership with the Brooklyn Children’s Museum.

Using a series of activities, media and oral history to conduct transformative discussions on migration, young participants became filmmakers, researchers and curators. Their work produced a three-week exhibition at the Théodore Monod Museum of African Art (IFAN).

For 2013-2014, the organization has more than doubled its programming with Marché Maths, a traveling mathematics caravan that culminated in a two-day mathematics festival; From Knowledge to Living, ImagiNation Afrika partnership with IFAN and its first learning laboratory; A coding camp for Girls in ICT Day; Girls Write Now!, A writing contest for high school girls in recognition of International Women’s Day; And extend the reach of Itineraries: Next Stop: Brooklyn / Dakar via Bamako taking the exhibition in three cities of Senegal.

With continuously innovative programming, IA has established its presence at a critical moment in world history and seeks to accompany children in Africa on their path to the leaders of tomorrow.