« Canadian Delegates Head to eLearning Africa Conference in Kenya
By Elaine McManus, Clarity Communications
23 May 2007
Fredericton – Canadian participation in eLearning Africa 2007 is showing a dramatic increase as an unprecedented number of Canadian delegates prepare to head to Kenya on May 24th for the second eLearning Africa conference.
This year’s conference is enjoying a fantastic response from Africa and from the rest of the world with 1200 delegates from 81 countries expected to take part in the event, which will be held from May 28-30 in Nairobi.
A total of 308 speakers from 55 countries is slated for eLA 2007 including representatives from major development organizations such as UNESCO, UNEVOC, the Global Development Learning Network (GDLN), the World Bank, as well as national and governmental institutions from Africa, Europe, Asia and North America. In keeping with Africa’s Millennium Goal of “Education for All,” the programme will cover topics such as elearning in medical education and the fight against HIV and AIDS; mobile learning; open source and open content in eLearning; and elearning in schools, higher-education institutions and in the public sector.
Twenty Canadians, including four New Brunswick speakers, will be presenting at this year’s event. Canadian delegates will facilitate workshops, host demonstrations, and participate in various panel discussions over the three-day event.
Conference session chairman Gary Stairs, President of Red Hot Learning in Fredericton, New Brunswick, has played a key role in mobilizing Canadian support for eLearning Africa 2007. Mr. Stairs notes “Our company has been following the eLearning Africa event since its inception last year and when we learned about the second event, we wanted to help make a difference through promoting the event here and enabling the attendance of even more African delegates with the help of aid and development agencies.”
Mr. Stairs is the leader of the Canadian Mission and member of the eLearning Africa 2007 international organizing committee, as well as a member of the National Education Marketing Roundtable of Canada.
New Brunswick school teacher, Roberto Gauvin, directeur d’école au Centre d’apprentissage du Haut-Madawaska, will be presenting a Francophone session at this year’s conference, entitled « Comment Nous Avons Créé une Communauté d’Apprentissage à l’Ecole à l’Aide du Cybercarnet ». M. Gauvin’s presentation will be included in the session « Successful Strategies for Implementing ICT in Schools.”
Dr. Kenneth Keirstead of The Lyceum Group, located in Fredericton New Brunswick and Conakry, Guinea will be a keynote speaker at the conference plenary, which will feature an interactive session with presentations from senior government representatives from a number of African nations and other key stakeholder representatives.
Dr. Keirstead is a member of the Canadian Council on Africa (CCAfrica) and head of the West Africa Working Committee for the eLearning Africa Canadian Mission organizing committee.
Ken Reimer, Director of the Centre for Enhanced Teaching and Learning at the University of New Brunswick, will be introducing a new program at eLearning Africa. The program creates discrete learning objects that can utilized by engineering instructors to enhance student learning on key topics by helping then master difficult core engineering concepts and providing the students with an alternative method by which they can master the concepts. Mr. Reimer will speak about the new program as part of the conference theme “Improving Quality and Outreach of Technical and Vocational Education (TVET) in Africa.”
In addition to his role at the Centre of Enhanced Teaching and Learning, Mr. Reimer is Treasurer of LearnNB.
Seven Canadian organizations will be exhibiting at eLearning Africa. Toon Boom, the Consortium for International Development in Education, LearnNB, Anyway Solutions and TTG Systems will have booths at the Canadian Pavilion. Representatives from an additional ten companies, as well as Montreal International, will be attending eLearning Africa and representing their organizations’ products and services within the booths at the Canadian stand. Additionally, SMART Technologies Inc. of Calgary and the Canadian-based Commonwealth of Learning will be exhibiting and participating in the event.
The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) has made a substantial contribution to CCAfrica to support this year’s eLearning Africa conference.
The CIDA contributed $163,773 CDN to provide funding for bursaries, travel and lodgings, which will enable up to as many as 75 African partners and delegates to attend the conference who otherwise would not be able to do so. Additionally, the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in Ottawa has plans to send as many as 15 of its field staff and partners involved in information and telecommunications for development projects in Africa.
Rebecca Stromeyer, managing director of ICWE, who organizes the conference in cooperation with Hoffmann & Reif, commented “We very much appreciate the strong commitment of CIDA and our other Canadian partners. It is one of our main concerns to support African professionals within this sector who are working at a grassroots level and whose work makes a difference to their communities. Enabling them to take part in the eLearning Africa conference will greatly benefit them in their work. The CIDA donation helps us to support this process ».
About eLearning Africa
eLearning Africa is an annual global conference organized by ICWE GmbH and Hoffmann & Reif that focuses on ICT for development, education and training in Africa. The event has forged a dynamic network of stakeholders and now links decision makers from governments and administrations with universities, schools, governmental and private training providers, industry, and important partners in development cooperation.
Each year a different African country serves as the venue. Last year, 832 participants from 80 countries attended the first conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. »
Note de Ze Cool : L’an prochain, 2008, c’est l’Afrique francophone qui accueille ce sommet, au Mali.