I was invited and sponsored by GIZ, a German organisation for International Cooperation that attracted over one thousand seven hundred thousand participants from all over the world. For us the GIZ sponsored participants, it all started with a pre-conference workshop that was held on the 24th May, 2011 which introduced to us among others the ICT@Innovations Project sponsored by GIZ, a classic example of using ICT to educate, but also make business.
The conference code named ‘eLearning Africa’ was the continent’s premier annual conference on ICT-enhanced learning which was hosted by Tanzania that showcased a wealth of proposals that promises to stimulate thought and discussion for the future of the people on the African continent. A number of speakers were selected from different disciplines to give key note addresses, but the official opening was done by the Vice President of the United Republic of Tanzania.
Among the keynote speakers were; Mr Jenerali Ulimwengu, well known in Tanzania and throughout East Africa as the host of a popular television talk show ‘Jenerali on Monday,’ Mr Ulimwengu is also a media mogul and the Chairman of Raia Mwema, a political newspaper, who although not an ICT expert, I think gave the most thrilling speech of the Conference entitled ‘ What we learn, how we learn it and for what.’ Others were: Lieut. Gen. Karlheinz Viereck who began his military career with the Bundeswehr in 1970; Jim Adams who is a Vice President of the East Asia and Pacific Region, at the World Bank; Rev. Emmanuel Kingsley Dadebo, who is the Co-ordinator of ICT in Education Programmes of the Ghana Ministry of Education, Science and Sports; Michael Trucano who is the World Bank’s Senior ICT and Education Policy Specialist, serving as the Bank’s focal point on the topic within the education sector; Larry Cooperman who is the director of UCI’s OpenCourseWare project; Dr Bakary Diallo who has worked in the education sector for the past 20 years as a secondary school teacher, an academic, a consultant, a project administrator and a researcher.
Individual topics range from eBook clubs in Uganda and multimedia storytelling in Tanzania to eBusiness among women in Nigeria and school governance in Francophone Africa. Others included; “Innovation and investment in innovation will help grow Africa”, How high-speed Internet is boosting economic growth in Africa, Promoting farming to young people in Tanzania – a most welcome idea, Promoting farming to young people in Tanzania – a most welcome ideaWazup? How digital technologies are transforming the lives of young Africans, Promoting farming to young people in Tanzania – a most welcome idea, ICT hero from Kilimanjaro foothills wins conference scholarship, ECOWAS to sponsor eLearning Africa participation, Bridging the technology gap with Free and Open Source Software among others.
There is a lot for us to learn, educate and do towards economic development endeavours through the use of Information and Communication Technologies whether or not the environment is conducive.
Yes we are on track to building for the future.