By Wallace Mawire
Africa’s leading conference and exhibition on technology-assisted learning and training, eLearning Africa, will head to Côte d’Ivoire this year. Organisers have confirmed that the conference, which brings together education professionals, technology experts, entrepreneurs and investors for three days of networking, discussions, briefings and debates, will be held in the West African country’s capital city, Abidjan.
Rebecca Stromeyer, the founder of eLearning Africa and CEO of ICWE GmbH, the company which will host the conference in partnership with the Ivorian Government, said:
“I’m delighted that eLearning Africa will be returning to West Africa this year. There is always a lot of competition to win the right to host the event and Côte d’Ivoire put together a very good proposal. The Government was very keen to bring eLearning Africa to Abidjan and Ivorian ministers understand the importance of technology in extending opportunity in education. There are going to be some big changes in education and training in Côte d’Ivoire in the next few years, so it’s an interesting time to be visiting.
“There is much interest in what’s going on in the country and in its potential as both an investment opportunity and a source of new partnerships. Equally, Côte d’Ivoire’s recent experience and the importance the Government attaches to technology in education will be important points of reference in our discussions.”
Although Côte d’Ivoire has had a ‘turbulent history’, with two civil wars since the turn of the millennium, the country has now broken decisively with the past and international organisations, such as the IMF, have noted that significant improvements have been made in key areas such as governance.
“These improvements have laid the foundations for the country’s transformation,” says Ms Stromeyer. “And the Government knows that what is really essential now is to seize the opportunity communications technology offers to spread the benefits of education and training. That is what will be the real engine of economic growth.”
The Ivorian Government’s Education Plan makes clear that key priorities are developing the use of ICTs in secondary schools, improving the employability of graduates and developing ICTs more generally.
“Participants in eLearning Africa will have a fascinating opportunity to learn about how digital technologies in education are helping to enable this important West African country to rebuild itself and lay the foundations for sustained economic growth and prosperity. The Government’s focus on ICT in education will quickly feed through into real benefits in employment, investment and economic growth.”
Visitors to Côte d’Ivoire for eLearning Africa will have the opportunity to experience for themselves one of Africa’s most culturally diverse countries. One of the world’s largest cocoa producers, Côte d’Ivoire is also rich in biodiversity and the Comoé National Park in the North East of the country boasts the world’s most biodiverse savannah. The park is home to 135 species of mammals, including 11 primate species.
eLearning Africa 2019 will feature a full programme of discussions, briefings and debates on diverse themes, ranging from the use of ICT in higher education to the provision of 21st century skills for African workers and businesses. The conference will be accompanied by an exhibition, at which producers and providers will demonstrate new products, solutions and courses.
“eLearning Africa always brings together a mix of educators, technology experts, political leaders, planners, investors and entrepreneurs,” explains Ms Stromeyer. “It is an extraordinary network of people from all over the world and, during its 13 years of existence, it has made a big contribution to helping education and technology to transform Africa. It’s a place where people learn and exchange ideas. Above all though, it is chance to meet new people, make new contacts and forge new partnerships in one of Africa’s fastest growing sectors.”