Conference sneak preview

A Philosopher and a Futurist Top the Bill for Fundamental Discussions

One of Africa’s most distinguished philosophers, Professor Mogobe Ramose, will be heading to Kigali next week for eLearning Africa. In the Rwandan capital, he will meet a ‘senior futurist,’ Dr Njeri Mwagiru of the University of Stellenbosch, and other experts for discussions about the role of learning in transforming Africa.

Professor Magobe Ramosa has been described as one of Africa’s “key thinkers,” having helped to popularise African philosophy and, specifically, its ‘Ubuntu’ tradition. He and Dr Mwagiru are scheduled to join Rwanda’s Education Minister, Dr Valentine Uwamariya, Mark West of UNESCO and Albert Nsengiyumva of the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) at the opening plenary session of the annual eLearning Africa conference. Conference organisers are not hesitating to emphasise the significance of their discussions, which provide an opportunity not only to focus on how education on the continent is changing, but also about its fundamental purpose in an era that is increasingly defined by rapid technological change.

eLearning Africa Founder Rebecca Stromeyer says that participants at this year’s conference, which is being held in ‘real time’ for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, will be looking for answers to “fundamental” questions.

“What is the post-pandemic, African agenda for education? As the continent begins to evolve towards a single market, what do Africans expect from their education system? And what can Africa teach the world about the real purpose of education? These are very important, urgent questions for education professionals and decision makers.

“I am delighted that we’ll joined by such a distinguished panel for the opening plenary session, which will set the tone for three days of debates, discussions, interaction and networking. It’s wonderful that we’re going to be meeting together again for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic. eLearning Africa is a unique network of professionals and our conferences bring people together from all over the world, which results in a huge amount of knowledge-sharing, as well as the formation of many new partnerships and projects in the field of digital learning and training in Africa.”

Plenary speakers Professor Ramose and Dr Mwagiru will also be taking part in the eLearning Africa debate at the close of the conference on the evening of Friday 13 May. The motion for discussion, at what should be a very lively debate, is ‘This House believes Africa urgently needs an African education model.’

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