Inter-Ministerial Forum calls for Africa to integrate ICT in education and assume its place in the world of ICT

The First Inter-Ministerial Forum held from 9 – 11 December in Tunis ended with a call for African countries to prepare and adopt a national policy framework to integrate ICT in their education and training systems. The Conference also called educators to invest much more time, money and effort in information and communication technology (ICT).

The Conference was attended by over 250 participants from Africa and other regions of the world, with more than 20 African ministers present. World renowned scientists and other experts in education, science and technology also took part in the conference.

The central recommendation from the forum was that all African countries should have a national policy on how to introduce ICT at all levels of education, including the primary, secondary and tertiary levels.

he use of ICT can considerably ease the formidable challenges faced by African education and training systems. The challenges are many. More than 30 million African children of primary school age not attending school and Africa needs another million teachers. Africa’s “marginalized populations” must also benefit from ICT in education. Women and girls do not always have access to education, and other excluded groups include people in remote parts of the continent, children working in agriculture, orphans, the disabled and people affected by HIV and AIDS.

Without ICT in education and training, Africa risks falling behind the rest of the world, despite its current high levels of economic growth, due to increasing globalization in science, technology and media.

The conference also called on the private sector and development agencies to be involved in the process, particularly through public-private partnerships. Integration of ICT into education and training should not just be the state’s responsibility.

ADEA’s Chair, Mr. Dzingai Mutumbuka, signed two MoUs with Microsoft and Intel, which are intended to frame a collaborative scheme to advance the use of ICTs in education and training.

The forum was co-organized by ADEA, the African Development Bank (AfDB), UNESCO, the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) and Intel, under the auspices of the Tunisian government through its Ministry of Education.

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