Last year, Society was engaged to support Aga Khan Education Services with the appointment of a CEO for its operations in Tanzania. This article belatedly celebrates the appointment of Yukesha Makhan, who took up post in September of this year in the midst of the global pandemic.

Aga Khan Education Services (AKES) is an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network and one of the largest private, not-for-profit, non-denominational educational networks in the developing world. It currently operates over 200 pre-primary, primary, secondary, and higher-secondary schools and programmes in diverse geographic locations in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Uganda and the United Arab Emirates. The network employs over 3,000 teachers and educates over 85,000 students.

As the new CEO for Tanzania, Yukesha will guide the strategic direction of AKES’ three schools in Dar Es Salaam, continuing the drive to make them some of the highest performing schools in the country with a grounding in values-based 21st Century education.

In our search, we sought to identify individuals with vision, an entrepreneurial instinct, extensive knowledge of contemporary developments in global education, and the interpersonal and cross-cultural skills required to lead diverse communities. We conducted a broad, global search, focusing on school leaders either currently in Africa or with significant prior experience on the continent.

Hailing from South Africa, Yukesha is an experienced international educator and leader. Her career in education has taken her to Kent and London in the UK, São Paulo in Brazil, and back to South Africa where for the past four years she has sat on the senior leadership team of the International School of South Africa, ultimately rising to Interim CEO. Outside of work, Yukesha is an avid reader, runner, and yoga and travel enthusiast.

On her appointment, Yukesha commented:

“I am elated and excited to be joining Aga Khan Educational Services Tanzania as Chief Executive Officer. We are certainly living in interesting times. With the development of artificial intelligence and virtual and augmented reality, international education in the 21st Century needs to ensure that all millennials are engaged in a student-centred learning environment; are able to communicate, collaborate, code and connect globally; are able to innovate and create; are able to think outside the box, analyse and problem solve; and are able to become life-long learners. As teachers, coaches, mentors and facilitators we recognise that we are preparing our future leaders for jobs which do not yet exist, using technologies which have not yet been created, in order to solve problems we are unaware of. I am looking forward to working with all faculty and staff in the three Tanzanian schools, and the wider AKES network.”

On her experience of the recruitment process, she added:

“It has been delightful working with the staff from Society. A special mention and thank you to Conor Wilson from Society whose professional and caring approach throughout the process provided me with clarity of forethought. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Gerry Peyton, Nimet Rener and Princess Zahra from AKES for providing me with this wonderful opportunity. I am looking forward to working with the team.”

We wish Yukesha the very best of luck in her new role!