Thursday April 2, 2009

Now that mobile devices have become a primary communication tool for over 60 percent of all humanity, the effects of widespread cell phone use in the developing world are beginning to receive more attention.

eLearning Africa (eLa), the continent’s largest annual assembly of eLearning and education professionals from Africa and beyond, has announced that on May 27th, 2009, they will conduct their fourth pan-African networking event in Dakar, Senegal. The event focuses on discussing and training participants on how to use a variety of technologies for development and education within different African countries.

Last year, over 1500 attendees from 83 countries gathered to discuss e-learning and distance education in the developing world. Recently, eLa announced that it its call for papers for 2009 has resulted in over 430 submissions from around the globe.
“The recent election of US President Barack Obama has elicited an unprecedented frenzy of hope across Africa,” said Kenyan journalist Reuben Kyama in a statement. “With an African-American president in office, the majority of the continent’s 750 million people anticipate a new dawn in the realm of socio-economic and political affairs.”

Conference organizers have set up a scholarship program to ensure participation of Africans with financial constraints. The organization said that conference participation will help the African practitioners lay the groundwork towards achieving their goal of education for all.

“In Africa, we have a lot of challenges particularly with connectivity,” said Chijioke A. Eke, a past conference participant from Sidmach Technologies Nig. Ltd in Nigeria. “Students in rural areas have a lot more challenges. Those that are there are not in touch with what is happening out in cities and they have less access. How can we take e-learning down to where the challenge is? Mobile,” he said, holding up a handset. (See the full video here.)

Conference attendees at past events have included representatives from Google and Cisco, plus hundreds of smaller independent technology and educational firms. Today, eLa is working on collecting donations to sponsor men and women from remote regions who would not otherwise be able to attend. For more information on the eLearning Africa Scholarship Program or to make a donation, visit www.elearning-africa.com.

Posted By:  Jamie Lendino

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.