Egypt is justly famed for its ancient centres of learning. Cairo’s Al-Azhar University, founded over a thousand years ago, maintains its pre-eminence as the country’s most venerable degree-granting institution, and the legendary library of Alexandria, whose establishment predated Al-Azhar’s by more than a millennium, was reputedly one of the largest and most significant in the ancient world.
The road ahead in the quest for access
Looking back upon 2014, one of the more striking tech stories has been the rate at which ICT continues to penetrate, and emerge from within, Africa.
The suspense is killing me
“Those most often left behind are language minorities. Keeping the promise of the MDGs requires a new understanding of the critical role of language in human development. Because there can be no true development without linguistic development, only by putting language at the centre of development can we close the gaps and meet key targets of the MDGs and other global agendas such as […]
Dynamic low-cost mobiles give African entrepreneurs access to training
Imagine you are a young entrepreneur in East Africa and have a great idea for a start-up, but don’t know how to implement it. A little training would help and probably be even more effective combined with a loan or a grant. You live near Mount Kenya, 150 kilometres northeast of Nairobi, and cannot afford to commute. This is where your trusty mobile phone […]
Where mobiles outnumber people…
In 2001, about 25 million people in Africa had a mobile phone subscription; by 2013, that number had ballooned to 780 million – an increase of 3,120%. There are now more mobile phones in Botswana, Gabon and Namibia than there are citizens. by Steven Blum With statistics like these, it’s not surprising that many educational strategists are dreaming of a future where mobile phones […]
A Spider Story: how a study circle becomes an agent of change
Let us begin by telling a story from a fishermen’s study circle in Kenya. CORDIO (Coastal Oceans Research and Development in the Indian Ocean East Africa) is an organization based in Mombasa, Kenya, that focuses on marine ecology and capacity building. This project using study circles is funded by Spider and its focus on education, empowerment and livelihoods strengthens the sustainability of both human […]
Restoring the Vernacular: the 60-year struggle for African languages
How can children reach their full potential, when their early education is taught in a language that they are both uncomfortable and unfamiliar with? In countries with diverse linguistic communities this is the harsh reality for many children growing up as part of a minority group. In Africa, the problem is rendered especially tricky by the prevalence of foreign and colonial languages in education, […]
Capturing the Continent’s creativity
Can ICT in Africa enrich and support traditional lifestyles and cultures? It certainly seems so, at least according to the entries already submitted to the 2013 eLearning Africa Photo Competition. Its theme, “Tradition and ICT Innovation: a couple with potential”, has drawn some inspiring work from budding photographers across the Continent, and will surely continue to attract more attention both in Africa and worldwide […]
ICT4Ag – The digital springboard for inclusive agriculture
Goodluck is a 35 year old progressive farmer. He starts his day early checking his smartphone for the latest news on the weather, the crops he grows and on any policy developments that may concern his business and the cooperative he is a member of.
UNESCO Mobile Learning Week 2013: Scratching the surface
The recently hosted UNESCO Mobile Learning Week (MLW) 2013 set out to answer three vital questions: how can mobile technologies support literacy development for both children and adults? How can they support teachers and their professional development, to ensure quality education is delivered to all students? And how can mobile technologies contribute to gender equality and extend opportunities to women and girls? A series […]