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eLearning Africa Conference Shows How ICTs Empower Education for All in Africa

Using examples from 60 countries, the 4th eLearning Africa conference, Africa’s largest event for learning technologies, will show how Information and Communication Technologies are helping African countries to reach the Millennium Goal of education for all. The eLearning Africa conference, which is to be held May 27th – 29th in Dakar, Senegal, will bring together ministers of education, senior government leaders, non-governmental organisations, school and university educators, developmental agencies and key business executives.

They will exchange ideas, learn about new educational technologies and share best practices for introducing and expanding educational technology in their communities.

eLearning Africa will be officially opened by the President of the Republic of Senegal, His Excellency Abdoulaye Wade, followed by a panel of highly renowned eLearning experts and executives from organisations and companies such as NEPAD, UNESCO and NComputing. Beginning on Wednesday with 19 pre-conference events, the event will feature 60 sessions and 20 best practice demonstrations that cover current aspects of eLearning development in Africa.

A Focus on M-Learning

Mobile learning is of particular interest in Africa, given the number of mobile devices available and the lack of reliable terrestrial Internet access. eLearning Africa 2009 features many interesting practical examples, such as m-learning for health-care workers, initiated by the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Belgium; mobile learning opportunities by l’Ecole Nomade in France; a study by the University of South Africa on the use of Mxit; and a partner programme of the Mid Sweden University and the Open University of Tanzania that uses mobile phones to enhance in-service teacher training.

Affordable and reliable Internet access solutions remain a challenge for most education and training practitioners in Africa. Presentation sessions in which access is discussed will include input from the Senegalese Government, the French Foreign Office, Computer Aid International and AfrISPA.

Universities: Drivers for Innovation

A session on university experience in putting in place effective technology-enhanced learning will feature presentations from universities including Université Cheikh Anta Diop dé Dakar, Senegal; University of Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania; Université de Nouakchott, Mauritania; and École des Sciences de l’Information, Morocco. They and many others will provide first-hand accounts of the opportunities and challenges they face.

Now in its fourth year, eLearning Africa has established itself as the key event on ICT for development, education and training on the African continent. Its mission is to bring people together who are actively engaged in education and in the implementation of learning technologies in schools, universities, corporate training programmes as well as in education in the public sector.

Participants are policymakers such as Ministers of Education, representatives from government agencies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), development agencies and international organisations, senior executives from businesses, as well as practitioners from all fields of education. The conference will be held in both English and French.

Source: The Ghanaian Journal