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eLearning Africa: “Let’s seize the moment”

The 15th Edition of eLearning Africa will be held from 11 – 13 May, 2022 in Kigali, the “Innovation City of Africa”.

By the editorial staff

The eLearning Africa annual conference and exhibition, which was established in 2005, is the largest and most comprehensive knowledge sharing event for technology-enhanced education, training and skills on the African continent.

With a network of experts, practitioners, policy makers and investors committed to the future of education and training, it is a global forum for everyone with an interest in education, training and skills development in Africa. In the past years it has offered thousands of professionals in education, training and development invaluable insights into the evolving world of ICT enhanced learning.

“”Africa is the place to be right now for investors in education and technology”

Conference founder Rebecca Stromeyer said that the conference is attracting “huge” levels of interest and support: “Africa is the place to be right now for investors in education and technology.” “In 2003 I saw the opportunities mobile telephony and the internet would offer access to knowledge, education, training and skills development on the continent. A conference such as eLearning Africa brings together experts and pratitioners to share experiences and learn from each other. It also was instrumental in building an African community of practice and helps further the cause, said Rebecca Stromeyer Since the first edition which took place in Ethiopia, the conference has moved across the continent and taken place in Kenya, Ghana, Senegal, Zambia, Tanzania, Benin, Namibia, Uganda, Egypt, Mauritius, Rwanda and Côte d’Ivoire. Plus during the height of the pandemic we staged many virtual events in order to keep our community up-to-date and connected.”

© Photographs: Dominik Tryba, ©ICWE GmbH

eLearning Africa is accompanied by an exhibition, featuring products, services and courses offered by some of the world’s leading producers and providers. The conference itself offers a wide variety of opportunities for discussion, knowledge sharing and networking, in the form of plenary sessions, workshops, seminars and debates. It also hosts a ministerial roundtable, at which ministers of ICT and education, together with officials and advisers, discuss emerging themes with experts, academics and representatives of companies and organisations from around the world. The theme for this year’s roundtable is “A New Purpose for Education” and it will consider the practical challenges facing African countries, the implications of a single market, and the contribution Africa can make to global learning and providing solutions to global problems.

“During the pandemic new experiences were made and new solutions were sought”

“This new edition will see many new relevant themes that have resulted from the effects the pandemic have had on education and training, when education and training institutions had to close and many institutions, schools, universities and business had to move their teaching and training online. During this time new experiences were made and new solutions were sought. Each year the conference looks at the latest trends and developments in digital learning and training and since technological innovation moves so fast there are always new lessons to learn and to be shared.”

Kigali has become known for its ICT-based initiatives in a variety of sectors and services. The city’s enthusiasm for new, tech-based solutions has led observers to refer to it as the “Innovation City of Africa”. “Kigali is a great destination for meetings and conferences., confirm Rebecca Stromeyer. It has a “state-of-the art” conference venue, many hotels in different price categories, it is easy to get around and it is safe city. It has no visa requirements for African citizens. Furthermore, there is a widespread awareness of the fact that Rwanda has coped really well with the pandemic and ensured stringent Covid meaures throughout the pandemic offering international visitors a secure environment. It also has made big strides in internet penetration, is a hub of innovation and invests in its youth to become a globally competitive knowledge-based economy.”

“Failing to focus now on education, training and technology would be unforgivable”

A opportunity for the Rwanda but also for Africa. And African countries should “seize the moment” and take advantage of a historic opportunity for “massive, long-term, sustainable economic growth,” according to Rwanda’s Minister of ICT and Innovation, Paula Ingabire. And Rwandan Education Minister, Dr Valentine Uwamariya, warned that “failing to focus now on education, training and technology would be unforgivable.”

“Africa is now at a crucial moment in its development, said Paula Ingabire. The creation of ACFTA, the African single market, is an unprecedented opportunity to transform the fortunes of our continent and its people. We can leapfrog other countries and regions. We have a chance to bring real prosperity to Africa. But we have to take the necessary steps to prepare ourselves and our people.

“Above all, this means investing in the combination of education and ICT. And in ensuring that our people have the skills necessary for the markets of the future. Information and Communications technology can spread the benefits of education and training to the remotest parts of our continent. In the wake of the Covid pandemic and an economic downturn, every African government should now focus relentlessly on its education and ICT strategy. That is what will make the African Union’s 2063 Vision a reality.”

“To focus our attention on how we can all work together, as a continent and as a global community, to use technology-assisted learning to boost growth and bring lasting change and prosperity”

“Africa has reached a crossroads. Now we face a choice, Uwamariya said. Let us seize the moment and take advantage of the best chance we’ll ever have as a continent. That means waking up to the opportunity that ACFTA represents for all Africans. it means making the most of the fact that Africa has a dynamic, youthful, growing population – a real reservoir of human resources and talent. It means planning, cooperating and investing in technology-assisted learning and training, so that we can spread the benefits of education and provide the new skills that are vital for the workforce of the future. Failing to focus now on education, training and technology would be unforgivable.” She added that she was delighted that the first eLearning Africa conference after the pandemic will be held in Rwanda.

“eLearning Africa and the opportunity it brings for dialogue between key stakeholders is so important. This conference, and the ministerial roundtable taking place at it, will give us a chance to focus our attention on how we can all work together, as a continent and as a global community, to use technology-assisted learning to boost growth and bring lasting change and prosperity.”

“Africa has so much to do and so much to give,” conclude Paula Ingabire. “We are looking to welcoming everyone to Rwanda for this historic conference.”

More details on the conference : https://www.elearning-africa.com/conference2022/

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