In 2013, the eLearning Africa Report found that 40% of African technology-assisted learning professionals were using ICTs specifically for skills training, up from 18% the previous year.
“Many African countries are seeking to diversify their economies and stimulate sectors such as tourism and finance, but skills shortages are preventing them from doing so”, said Rebecca Stromeyer, founder of eLearning Africa.“eLearning will allow more and more African countries to easily train the next generation of in-demand workers”.
Innovative people and organisations across the Continent are working to fill in this “skills-gap”.
Leading this movement is LEAP Africa, which has equipped over 30,000 youth, business owners and professionals to lead positive change in their personal lives, business ventures and local communities.
Iyadunni Olubode, executive director of LEAP, and keynote speaker at eLearning Africa 2014, emphasised the role that using technology to support learning can play: “eLearning tools, including audio and video, are critical in reaching the Continent’s teeming population”.
Dr Bitange Ndemo, former Permanent Secretary of Kenya’s Ministry of Information and Communication and an eLearning Africa 2014 keynote speaker, believes that vocational skills often do not receive the recognition they deserve.
He said:“We have spent many years trying to focus on theory and hoping that it will translate to skills. This is a false belief. Countries that are successful have a strong skills development programme. In Kenya whilst there are many jobs, there is widespread unemployment because the youth lack the skills. This problem can be solved if on-line content in all trades, including soft skills, is widely accessible. Many youth are known to shun vocational training in favour of nonexistent white collar jobs. There is need to encourage the youth to take up blue collar skills that offer many opportunities for training”.
Hosted by Uganda, the conference’s wide-ranging plenaries, sessions and exhibitions will showcase the inspiring stories, innovations and research that make up today’s complex picture of ICT for development, education and training in Africa.This year’s conference will bring together more than 1,500 technology and education professionals.