Berlin (GER), May 2016 - Education and training are at the heart of the African Union’s 2063 Vision for a "transformed continent". With this in mind, Ministers of Education, Skills, Finance, and ICT from all over Africa are discussing delivery mechanisms at the annual Round Table on ICT for education, training, and development at the eLearning Africa Conference, currently (24-26 May 2016) taking place in Cairo.
"The ministers want to move from talk to action," says Charles Senkondo, Executive Director of Tanzania’s Global Learning Agency (TaGLA), who is chairing a session at the Round Table. "They want to progress from ideas to implementation. There is a mood now that the African Union’s 2063 Vision is a really exciting view of what Africa could be like for our children, and we all want to focus on how to make it happen.
"Education and technology are at the heart of it. The decades ahead offer a huge opportunity for Africa, and decisions taken at this conference, together with the ideas, plans, and partnerships created here, will have an immense significance for the future."
A key issue for ministers at the Round Table is how different countries can share critical communications infrastructure and expertise in order to create a “multiplier effect” in sectors crucial for future economic development such as education.
"Mistakes were made by many countries in the past," says Senkondo. "All too often, we failed to share our expertise with one another. And too many countries focused on expensive technological gimmicks, rather than on working together to improve infrastructure across the Continent. Important lessons have now been learned, though. Now we’re going to see Africa move ahead very quickly, and African education is going to be a real growth sector."
The Ministerial Round Table on ICT for Education, Training, and Development is held at eLearning Africa every year. The theme for this year’s eLearning Africa, which is being held in North Africa for the first time, is "Making Vision Reality: Imagination, Innovation, and Implementation."
African ministers will be joined at the Round Table by other participants, including Günter Nooke, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s personal representative for Africa, and by business leaders, academics, and commentators.