Opening a window on the continent’s education future
The eLearning Africa Report 2014, launched yesterday by the His Excellency Edward Ssekandi, Vice President of the Republic of Uganda, is claiming that Africans working in education are overwhelmingly optimistic about the future.
The report follows the publication of the World Bank’s estimate that economic growth across Africa will rise to 5.2 per cent this year, shows that 74 per cent of professionals and investors in the key sectors of ICT and education are optimistic about future prospects.
“The mood of optimism among Africans is unmistakable,” says the Report. “Our survey… confirms that African eLearning professionals are feeling confident about the future. This is more good news for the continent because the combination of education and technology is clearly a powerful driver for growth.”
The report repeats the late Nelson Mandela’s view that “education is the key to everything”. It emphasises, however, that the prospects for African education will depend increasingly on good communications and connectivity:
“If education is the key to everything, the key to the education of the future is infrastructure”.
It is a view shared by Brahima Sanou, the Director of the Development Department of the International Telecommunications Union, in an exclusive interview with the Report. The development of high-speed international connectivity and broadband ICT is “an essential part of the long-term development strategy” for Africa. The opportunities for education are enormous, he believes, as the “advent of low-cost mobile tablets’ massive market rollout stands to revolutionise education because of the pedagogical implications of being able to deliver more content on a larger screen”.
The Report, which also includes analysis of the agriculture, health and tourism sectors, a guide to eLearning initiatives in 55 African countries, a survey of sources of funding and articles by leading commentators including Binyavanga Wainaina, Paul Boateng, Bitange Ndemo and Aida Opoku-Mensah, was launched at the eLearning Africa conference at the Speke Conference Centre in Kampala on 28 May 2014.