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17 Nov 2014 14:37 Age: 3 yrs
Category: News Update, SAfrica and Asia

Africa’s most influential woman in education is ORT SA Cape Director

Abel by name, able by nature – ORT SA Cape Director Dr Lydia Abel’s skills as an educator are well known within the ORT family but now they have been recognised across Africa.   Dr Abel has been named "Continental Winner in Education and Training: Private Sector” at CEO Magazine's MIW - Most Influential Women in Business & Government Awards dinner in Johannesburg, which was attended by more than 600 people from across Africa.


“It’s an amazing honour which I would not have received without all the wonderful colleagues I have had doing this work over the past 20 years. My last three years in ORT have been amazing. It’s all part and parcel of making a difference to education in South Africa,” said Dr Abel.

World ORT Director General and CEO Shmuel Sisso congratulated Dr Abel on her achievement.

“There can be no-one more deserving of such an accolade as Lydia, who is leading a dedicated team to ever greater accomplishments to the benefit of thousands of people eager to exploit the opportunities that South Africa now holds for them. ORT in South Africa makes a tremendous impact; it is inspirational. Like every ORT national organisation, it is the skill, vision and commitment of its staff and lay leaders that make it all possible.”

Dr Abel’s original career was as a scientist but veered into education after a friend invited her to teach physiology to senior high school students and she discovered that she loved it. She gained a Masters and then a Doctorate in cognitive education at the University of the Western Cape before joining an NGO which produced comic books to help children with their English language skills. In the late ‘90s she joined the national curriculum development committee and became Director of the Schools Development Unit at the University of Cape Town before joining ORT in 2010.

Over the last 15 years, the MIW - Most Influential Women in Business and Government award programme has recognised women across the continent who have consistently exercised a positive influence on their organisations and their respective communities.