Plans are currently being laid for a new era of development, as the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) edge closer to their 2015 expiry date. What will replace them will be a more inclusive framework that leverages new technology and innovation to help reach targets.
In an interview with eLearning Africa, Dr Aida Opoku-Mensah, Special Advisor to the executive secretary on the post-2015 development agenda at the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), explained how ICT will play a prominent role moving forward.
“The post-2015 agenda from an African perspective is looking at people-centred development, and within that we’re looking at the whole issue of education. Therefore distance learning, online learning and the role of ICTs will be very, very critical,” Dr Opoku-Mensah says.
“We’re looking at economic transformation in Africa. If you’re looking at economic transformation, again you can’t dismiss the areas of innovation, of ICTs.”
She says that for change to really happen over the next 15 years, governments will need to stick to their commitments, and will be called upon to speed up ICT infrastructure to ensure the appropriate technology is introduced into the economy.
“Already countries are investing in ICTs but we are looking at the acceleration. For me, that’s going to be the challenge, sticking to those commitments is going to be key.”
Dr Opoku-Mensah is based in Ethiopia, where the 2015 eLearning Africa conference will be taking place from May 20 – 22 at the African Union Headquarters. Believing that hat effective use of ICTs requires cross-sectoral collaboration and a multi-stakeholder approach, she says the event has come at an important time. “It’s very important for Africa and for Ethiopia – the capital of Africa, the diplomatic city of Africa.”
Hear more from Dr Aida Opoku-Mensah about the importance of the upcoming eLearning Africa conference and plans for the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals below.