AFRICA

eLearning Africa – Making the most of the continent’s talent

With the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area, and increased exposure to global markets and technological innovation, the continent’s prospects for growth and development are promising. Against this backdrop, this year’s eLearning Africa conference looks, among other focus areas, at how the continent can best help its young people to turn their talents into skills and skills into success.

Now in its 14th year, the annual eLearning Africa conference, which has earned a reputation as the continent’s leading edtech conference and exhibition, takes place in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire from 23-25 October.

Confirmed keynote speakers include Professor N'Dri Thérèse Assié-Lumumba, the president of the World Council of Comparative Education Societies, and chairperson of African and diaspora education at Cornell University; Efosa Ojomo, author, researcher and economic development expert, and senior research fellow at the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation; and Jef Staes, one of the world’s leading authorities on learning processes and innovative organisations.

eLearning Africa is the key networking event for ICT-supported education, training and skills development in Africa and brings together high-level policy-makers, decision-makers and practitioners from education, business and government.

Rebecca Stromeyer, the founder and organiser of eLearning Africa, said this year’s pan-African gathering will be “very practical”.

“We will be looking at how we can make the most of African talent and how we can turn African skills into success. We had a successful call for papers, which resulted in some very interesting proposals …

"Some of the world’s leading experts will be participating in the conference, along with investors, entrepreneurs and political leaders, so it will be a great opportunity to discuss the role of education, training and technology in equipping Africans with the skills they need to succeed in the future.”

A ministerial round table will be held on the opening day of the conference. It will be attended by education, technology and communication ministers from all over Africa. Their discussions will focus on the importance of learning, training, skills and investment to helping Africans to make the most of plans for an African Common Free Trade Area.

Albert Nsengiyumva, executive secretary of the Association for the Development of Education in Africa said ensuring people have the skills they need to compete is vital for the future of the continent.

“The pace of change is going to get faster and faster. If we want to make a reality of the African Union’s 2063 vision of a ‘transformed continent’, we have got to put the systems, structures and solutions we need in place now," he said.

"We also need to look carefully at what investors expect from Africa’s workforce and how we can make African labour markets attractive to potential employers. The discussions ministers and investors have at this year’s eLearning Africa are an important part of planning for the future,” he added.

As usual eLearning Africa will be accompanied by an international exhibition of products, services, solutions and courses.

“The exhibition is a good sign of the interest outside investors are taking in Africa,” said Stromeyer. “I have seen the exhibition grow and this year there is no doubt there is real excitement about opportunities in Africa’s edtech sector. It is a rapidly growing market, which could soon be the biggest in the world, and some of the best known names in global education and technology will be taking part.”

For more information, visit the eLearning portal, or visit Twitter.