AFTRA was founded in 2010 by the Ministers of Education in Africa led by then Nigerian Minister of Education, Professor Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa'i and South African Minister of Basic Education, Mrs. Angelina Matsie Motshekga. The inauguration of the body took place on 12th October, 2010 at the prestigious Nicon Luxury Hotel, Abuja, Nigeria.

The following countries participated in the inauguration and First Roundtable on 12th October 2010: Nigeria, South Africa, Gabon, Kenya, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Cameroon, Ghana, Republic of Benin, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Guinea Bissau, Congo, Angola, Namibia, Botswana, & Zambia. The inauguration was supported by: UNESCO, UK Department for International Development, British Council, International Forum of Teaching Regulatory Authorities, Teachers Without Borders International, Japanese International Cooperation Agency, and US Agency for International Development.

At inauguration, AFTRA was called Africa Forum of Teaching Regulatory Authorities. Later in 2016, the name changed to Africa Federation of Teaching Regulatory Authorities. The change came as a result of the growing power of the body and stronger commitment by member countries to make AFTRA a global model as a continental regulatory authority. It was therefore felt that the term, "Federation" would make the body more united, stronger, and better result-oriented.

Over the past decades, the influence of AFTRA has been acknowledged across not just Africa but globally. In the course of those years, many countries had taken turns to host the annual events and showcased the commitment of their governments and peoples. Among the countries that had hosted are Nigeria (2010), South Africa (2011), Benin (2012), Tanzania (2012), Kenya (2013), Ghana (2014), Namibia (2015), Zambia (2016), South Africa (2017), Nigeria (2018), Lesotho (2019), Ghana (2022), and Namibia (2023). Zambia is set to host in 2014, a second time.

The 10-year anniversary of AFTRA was celebrated in Lesotho (2019). It was presided over by the country's then Rt. Honourable Prime Minister,
Dr. Motsoahae Thomas Thabane. The day was marked as a national day as the Prime Minister led the three arms of government (Executive, Legislature and Judiciary) to the Mojalefa Lephole Convention Centre, Maseru, venue of the anniversary celebration.

For full history of AFTRA up to 2017, download the PDF version on the AFTRA website.

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