Conference sneak preview

Wazup? How digital technologies are transforming the lives of young Africans

How do young Africans use social networks, chat forums and mobile phones? eLearning Africa 2011 will bring together a group of young African people, including twenty Tanzanians, to discuss the impact of ICTs on their lives. The session will be run entirely by young African people, while the ‘clueless’ older generation – those over 24 – will have observer status.

Are digital technologies useful for young people’s personal growth, for their awareness and their education?

Parents tend to be suspicious and try to control their children’s use of technology, while teachers can be reluctant to acknowledge the educational benefits. Although mobile phones are in widespread use across Africa, they are viewed as contraband in most classrooms. Students are told to turn their phones off or leave them at home.

Social networks still have comparatively low penetration rates in Africa. Facebook, for example, has a penetration level of around three percent but its popularity is skyrocketing, especially among young people.

So what are the personal stories of these twenty young Tanzanians? In the interactive eLearning Africa session “Wazup? Youth Voices on Life, Love and eLearning”, participants will exchange their views on embracing the digital age and what this shift means for their relationships and communities.

What message can be given to governments, parents and teachers about young people’s views on the use of technologies for learning, teaching and self-development?

With Youth, Skills & Employability serving as the central theme of this year’s eLearning Africa, six sessions will focus exclusively on ways of unlocking the potential of young people.

Ten other youth sessions will cover very specific topics ranging from youth entrepreneurship, statistical literacy and the application of performing arts to youth employability and the empowerment of young deaf people. This year’s TVET Summit will focus on skills development for young people and adult learners through technology-supported strategies.


Dedicated youth sessions at eLA


  • · Wazup? Youth Voices on Life, Love and eLearning
  • · Family Literacy, eBook Clubs and Learning with Grandma
  • · Research Stream: African Youth and Digital Identity
  • · Enabling African Youth to Find Their Own Voice
  • · Employing People with Disabilities: How ICTs Can Help
  • · How Youth in Francophone Africa Have Appropriated ICTs


Specific presentations relating to youth (as parts of other sessions):


  • Youth and Workforce Skills Development: Learnings from South Korea and Singapore
  • Youth Entrepreneurship and Skills Development: A Kenyan Perspective
  • Electronic Learning and Youth-Pastoralist Livelihood in Conflict Zone of Taraba, Nigeria
  • iSchoolAfrica: Using Technology for Multi-Skill Development to Ensure Increased Employability Among Our Youth
  • Performing Arts in ODL Curriculum for Youth Employability
  • ICT and Youth Entrepreneurship Development in Botswana: Exploring Possibilities in a Challenged Environment
  • Project Based Learning: The Experience with Adobe Youth Voices Project in Uganda
  • Data Services to Support Youth Statistical Literacy: Evidence from UK and SA
  • Deaf Youth Empowerment Through eLearning
  • Perceptions of Zambian Youths and Employers Towards eLearning

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