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eLearning Africa Report 2014 combines expert analysis and survey results to measure annual progress

May 29, 2014  »  EducationNo Comment

An annual report on the African e-learning landscape was released today during the 9th International Conference on ICT for Development, Education and Training, held in Kampala, Uganda.



The eLearning Africa Report 2014 combines news, features, interviews, literature, and survey results to measure annual progress in the field of technology-enabled learning across the continent. This year’s edition also has a thorough reference section with eLearning details on every African nation. Above all, African education needs proper connectivity as the opportunities to utilize the internet for learning are great. Low cost mobile tablets have the potential to deliver more content at relatively low cost. Also, don’t forget that eLearning goes beyond the classroom; medical workers and farmers are benefiting from ICT use too.

The mood of optimism among Africans is unmistakable. Our survey… confirms that African eLearning professionals are feeling confident about the future. This is more good news for the continent because the combination of education and technology is clearly a powerful driver for growth.”

Summary of features & survey results

In general:

  • Africa must develop local content and distribute it to learners.
  • In the past there has been resistance in adopting new learning methods (teachers fear replacement).
  • Technology not only provides for visual learning but allows slow learners time to catch up.
  • Governments need to embrace tech in classrooms.
  • Ndemo, B., 2014. Is Modernity destroying African education? In: Elletson, H. and MacKinnon, A. (eds) 2014. The eLearning Africa Report 2014, ICWE: Germany


  • Two of the key factors behind the development of smallholder farming are the increasing availability of ICTs and a wealth of new opportunities for technology-assisted learning.
  • Digital literacy campaigns and computer skills training are helping farmers increase productivity.
  • Farmers recognize ICTs can make theme more efficient.
  • Elletson, H. and MacKinnon, A. (eds) 2014. The eLearning Africa Report 2014, ICWE: Germany


  • Telecommunications allows for health works to be trained more easily.
  • Mobiles and tablets allow those in the field to better diagnose health conditions and check medications.
  • TV and radio are still seen as being more effective than SMS, social media, or email in delivering health-related messages.
  • Surveyed doctors feel that the tablet has the greatest potential of all ICT devices to transform health education.
  • Elletson, H. and MacKinnon, A. (eds) 2014. The eLearning Africa Report 2014, ICWE: Germany


  • Many eLearning initiatives were not available five years ago.
  • eLearning growth is upwards of 30% annually over the next few years in places like Senegal thanks to support from governments, businesses, and universities.
  • Online institutions like African Virtual University and the University of South Africa are gaining in popularity.
  • 90% primary school enrollment in most countries provides a good foundation for eLearning growth.
  • Challenges to eLearning include limited access to basic services, especially in rural areas. Plus gender disparities and unequal access to sanitation facilities.
  • In parts of Ghana, theĀ  Kindle e-reader is addressing a shortage of textbooks thanks to a Worldreader program.
  • A 2012 GSMA survey in Senegal found 28% of pupils as acquiring better knowledge with content from ICTs.
  • Over the course of a four-year secondary education, an e-reader at $100 is at least half the cost of traditional textbooks.
  • eLearning is both a tool and a means of employment.
  • Mobile broadband penetration will increase the demand for local eLearning applications.
  • Mobile phones are being used by teachers to track student attendance.
  • “In developing strategies for sustained growth, countries will have to implement national strategies to promote the use of technology for education, along with the prioritisation of investments in the ICT sector, whilst paying serious attention to infrastructure development and re-skilling educators on the importance of technology in the education process.”
  • Opoku-Mensah, A., 2014. eLearning and the Post-2015 Development Agenda. In: Elletson, H. and MacKinnon, A. (eds) 2014. The eLearning Africa Report 2014, ICWE: Germany

The Survey:

  • *1,444 respondents – all are involved with African eLearning
  • 52% rate their national government as most influential in ensuring the continuing development of technology-enabled learning.
  • 92% said more eGovernment would mean more transparency.
  • 80% felt their government should use ICTs more to support social inclusion.
  • 55% do not believe their government should censor the Internet.
  • 55% feel governments are aware of the benefits of eLearning (30% feel the same about teachers).
  • 63% use ICTs mainly to communicate with people living outside Africa.
  • 75% in both urban and rural areas say poor connectivity is a key obstacle to eLearning.
  • Those in urban areas are 2x as likely to use ICTs to communicate with people from other African countries.
  • 45% have been a victim of cyber crime.
  • 55% trust their telecom company to keep communications secure.
  • An Internet connection is the most common school improvement (31%), followed by hardware (21%).
  • 66% have access to a smartphone; 22% teach using a smartphone.
  • 95% have access to a laptop; 82% teach using a laptop.
  • 46% have access to a tablet; 27% teach using a tablet.

Source: Elletson, H. and MacKinnon, A. (eds) 2014. The eLearning Africa Report 2014, ICWE: Germany

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