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This article has been edited by eLearnAfrica for clarification.

Online platform to give 10 million Africans access to university
 
In sub-Saharan Africa, only 6% of young people are enrolled in higher education

 

African universities will give 10 million more people the chance to earn a degree by offering online [degrees and] courses from universities like Harvard, MIT and Cambridge.

The Association of African Universities (AAU) has partnered with eLearnAfrica, a social enterprise and the continent’s largest online learning platform, to expand universities’ reach to underserved areas. In sub-Saharan Africa, for example, only 6% of young people are enrolled in higher education. Would-be students face barriers like cost, distance and competition for limited spaces.

“I have people very close to me who were not able to complete high school because they became refugees – once you hit your 20s, from an African perspective, there are a lot of responsibilities. You’re working to support your family, so even finishing high school becomes a huge problem. We’re offering an opportunity: if you can get a certificate through online learning, you’re a little closer to freedom,” said Brook Negussie, the Ethiopian-born CEO of eLearnAfrica.

eLearnAfrica will provide their content for free to universities, and only charge to host courses – which is optional. “We’re trying to be disruptive,” explains Negussie. “Hopefully we’ll see a great collaboration where students in East Africa are taking courses from West African universities and vice versa, and I hope that creates a conversation.”

The AAU, which convenes and advocates for 380 higher learning institutions across the continent, will support member universities as they implement online learning. eLearnAfrica will make its online catalogue of 1,000 licensed courses available to all AAU-affiliated universities, and support them as they produce and design their own, locally relevant classes.

The program has already been rolled out successfully at the Zambian Open University, where 3,000 students are taking courses online.

“The plan is to initially work with pilot universities to achieve traction before rolling this out to more AAU members. We are aware that our members are at varying levels in terms of their e-learning strategies. We will therefore work with those that have clear visions for e-learning and use our annual platforms to motivate those lagging to consider prioritising e-learning for their universities,” said Ms Nodumo Dhlamini, Director of Information Communications Technology Services & Knowledge Management at the AAU. “E-learning implementation requires a paradigm shift. We expect some of our members to be skeptical.”

According to Dhlamini, the AAU hopes the partnership will allow “non-traditional students” flexible learning opportunities and give disadvantaged communities access to higher education.

eLearnAfrica’s course catalogue is bolstered by partnerships with other e-learning platforms, including edX, FutureLearn and itSM Mentor, which provides vocational training in subjects like software development and business administration. The company expects that 10 million students will use its courses to earn a university degree over the next three years.

The partnership will allow universities to expand their offerings, grow class sizes without physical expansion and reach Africans living in remote areas who otherwise would not be able to go to university. Courses are user-friendly and available in mobile format, to accommodate people who do not have computer access.

“Our approach with AAU was to find a way where we could collaborate and make our courses accessible to students through member universities, to bring education to people who wouldn’t have the ability to get higher education due to circumstances beyond their control,” said Negussie.

The biggest challenge to rolling out online learning is making sure educators understand how to use the platform to create courses. To pre-empt this potential problem, eLearnAfrica is working with the AAU to conduct an instructive webinar for professors.

Overcrowding is a major problem for African universities: according to a report by the Africa-America Institute, there are 50% more students per professor at African universities in comparison to the global average. Online learning partnerships offer a unique solution to this problem.

Read the full, original article here.

 


Unicaf University partners with eLearnAfrica

Posted by IT-Online on Feb 16, 2017

Unicaf University has announced today that its programmes will be available on eLearnAfrica.com, thereby extending further the University’s reach throughout the continent.

eLearnAfrica.com is a popular mobile application and innovative web portal, offering Africans trusted sources of online education from around the world. The site has seen close to 1-million visitors in its first four months of operation, demonstrating the tremendous interest in online education throughout the continent.

eLearnAfrica.com has partnered with leading online course providers, representing some of the best universities in the world. Unicaf University is now included in this line up of top universities, including Harvard, MIT, and Cambridge, (available through eLearnAfrica’s partnerships with edX.org and Future Learn – world leaders in elearning).

Unicaf University is a multi-campus tertiary institution, aiming to provide quality higher education to people in Africa and the region, who want to earn qualifications of value.

Thanks to its unique association with the UNICAF Scholarship Programme, one of the most generous programmes of its kind, Unicaf University is able to offer internationally recognised Bachelor, Master’s and Doctorate programmes at a fraction of the cost.

Unicaf University students can study online, or through blended learning, an innovative combination of online delivery and class room instruction. They can keep their jobs and continue to care for their families, fitting their studying around their busy lifestyles and personal commitments.

An extensive network of tutors, instructors and administrators provide continuous support to students, from the day of enrolment through to graduation.

Dr Kevin Andrews, vice-chancellor of Unicaf University is enthusiastic about the co-operation with eLearnAfrica.com and expressed the certainty that by offering accessible and affordable higher education of quality, Unicaf University is set to make a difference in the future of African societies.

Both Unicaf University and eLearnAfrica, aim to address the ever-growing demand for higher education in Africa. Every year hundreds of thousands of African students are left out of higher education, because of the expenses associated with studying abroad; on the other hand, demand for placements in African universities outpaces the rate at which governments can build the necessary infrastructure, to ensure an adequate number of places.

“eLearnAfrica’s mission is to make learning opportunities available to everyone,” says CEO Brook Negussie. “The ability to work with educational institutions, like Unicaf University, is exactly why we created eLearnAfrica.com.

“We understand that it’s challenging to find trusted content on the internet,” he adds. “Our platform was created to help Africans find courses from trusted third-party providers. It’s great that we are now able to offer African content to students.

“Unicaf University is a leader in the provision of online degrees with world-class professors, made affordable through generous scholarships. Education is a human right, and the internet is a powerful tool in increasing opportunities for millions of Africans to earn quality degrees. We are excited to offer Unicaf University’s programmes on eLearnAfrica.com and look forward to our mutually beneficial co-operation in the years ahead.”

Students can search the range of programmes offered by Unicaf University on eLearnAfrica.com and then be redirected to the Unicaf University website to complete the application form and start the enrolment process.

 


 

Unicaf University Announces Partnership with eLearnAfrica

eLearnAfrica.com is a popular mobile application and innovative web portal, offering Africans trusted sources of online education from around the world.

DATE:  14 February 2017.

Unicaf University has announced today that its programmes will be available on eLearnAfrica.com, thereby extending further the University’s reach throughout the continent. This co-operation proves the reputation Unicaf University enjoys as a centre of educational excellence in the region. eLearnAfrica is a popular mobile application and innovative web portal, offering Africans trusted sources of online education from around the world. The site has seen close to one million visitors in its first four months of operation, demonstrating the tremendous interest in online education throughout the continent. eLearnAfrica has partnered with leading online course providers, representing some of the best universities in the world.  Unicaf University is now included in this line up of top universities, including Harvard, MIT, and Cambridge, (available through eLearnAfrica’s partnerships with edX.org and Future Learn – world leaders in elearning).  

Read more here.

 


Helping Africa Learn Online

A mission-driven young company aims to help Africa's universities meet the exploding capacity for education and training.

By Doug Lederman, 13 February 2017

As is true in many parts of the world, demand in Africa for postsecondary education and training is exploding. Enrollments in the continent's universities nearly tripled from 1999 to 2012, but existing universities are straining to keep up with demand and it's highly unlikely that enough new institutions can be built to meet the need.

A young company aims to help Africa's universities serve their students by both expanding their offerings and building their own capacity.

Under an agreement announced this month between eLearnAfrica and the Association of African Universities, the association's 380 member universities can make the company's selection of digital courses available to their students. In addition, eLearnAfrica (and its partner, ITsm Mentor) will provide a variety of services to help the universities digitize their own courses to put them online, to help them build their own capacity.

eLearnAfrica's website had more than 1 million visits in its first four months of operation, and "thousands" of students have registered for courses already, mostly delivered in mobile format, says Brendan von Briesen, the company's chief operating officer. "That speaks to the overwhelming demand on the part of Africans to find high-quality higher education opportunities."

"The situation in sub-Saharan Africa is so dire," von Briesen said. "We've heard estimates that the continent would have to build 10 universities of 10,000 students each per week just to meet the demand. The old model just won't work by the numbers."

eLearnAfrica was founded by Brook Negussie, an Ethiopian IT executive who was educated in Canada and Europe. The company, which describes itself as a social enterprise, has incorporated courses from edX, the Harvard/MIT massive open online course provider; FutureLearn, the Open University's MOOC initiative; and African institutions such as the Zambian Open University, among others. It has supplemented those free courses with relationships with University of the People and a catalog of low-cost vocationally oriented certificate programs from ITsm Mentor. 

The company's main focus initially is making those and other high-quality courses available to the students who attend its African university partners, thereby expanding those institutions' offerings.

But consistent with the view of most organizations that work in developing nations, eLearnAfrica's officials know that delivering outside content isn't sufficient; African universities must develop their own capacity to produce locally relevant courses.

"As an association, challenges of limited access to quality higher education continue to haunt us," Etienne Ehouan Ehile, the AAU's secretary general, said in a prepared statement. "Therefore building capacities of African universities to be innovative in their teaching and learning methods for increased access to quality higher education is top priority for the AAU. This partnership with eLearnAfrica will help us achieve this goal.”

eLearnAfrica offers universities a suite of services such as course hosting, course design and development, and market research, to name a few. "We have some universities coming to us that have content and want to get it out there, and others coming to us saying, 'We don't have anything online, help us out,' " says von Briesen.

 


 

eLearning partnership opens doors to 10 million students

A landmark agreement signed between the 380-member Association of African Universities, or AAU, and Africa’s largest online education platform eLearnAfrica will enable 10 million students to access higher education through online services provided to AAU member universities.

The agreement signed on 3 February will enable member universities to expand their reach through the provision of online, distance-learning opportunities to students everywhere, including rural areas. It will also support universities in the development and deployment of online learning resources and in the use of the eLearnAfrica Learning Management System.

“We're glad to welcome early adapters, like the Zambian Open University, that already offer online degrees. Now, with this agreement with the AAU, we'll be able to support more universities to make the jump to e-learning,” CEO of eLearnAfrica, Brook Negussie told University World News.

The eLearnAfrica platform is fully functional on mobile devices, which represents the most popular form of connecting to the internet.

Cost-effective strategy

According to Negussie, eLearnAfrica is a cost-effective strategy for delivering higher education because of one-time development costs, low continuing costs, and most importantly, the ability to scale delivery.

“Before, class size was limited by desks; now, it's limitless,” he said. “I would have to say that Africa cannot afford to keep building multi-million dollar physical universities. The continent would have to open a few every week for years just to meet existing demand, to say nothing for meeting the projected demand of a young, digitalised population that knows that education is the key to life-long achievement and success,” he told University World News.

He said the great benefit of the AAU relationship is that the AAU is a membership organisation of accredited, respected higher education institutions in Africa. The partnership, he said, would give AAU member universities access to Africa's largest e-learning platform and support network.

The association is Africa’s largest higher education coordinating body, comprising 380 universities in 46 African countries.

“The AAU is the most important higher education coordinating body; we are looking forward to developing and delivering content with the member universities throughout Africa,” Negussie said.

Expanding access

According to the secretary general of the AAU, Professor Etienne Ehouan Ehile, one of the major benefits of the partnership is its capacity to expand access.

“As an association, challenges of limited access to quality higher education continue to haunt us. Therefore, building capacities of African universities to be innovative in their teaching and learning methods for increased access to quality higher education is top priority for the AAU. This partnership with eLearnAfrica will help us achieve this goal," he said in a statement.

Students throughout Africa face difficulties in attaining university degrees. These challenges range from high costs, to competition for limited spaces and long distances that need to be covered to attend universities.

Only 6% of young people in Sub-Saharan Africa are enrolled in higher education institutions compared with the global average of 26%. According to the World Bank, it is estimated that a one-year increase in average tertiary education levels would raise annual gross domestic product or GDP growth in Africa by 0.39%, and eventually yield up to a 12% increase in GDP.

The initiative takes advantage of improvements in internet connectivity in Africa.

According to Nodumo Dhlamini, AAU director of knowledge management and ICT services, Africa has made progress in developing internet infrastructure and improving connectivity.

“It is true that there is still a great deal of work to be done to bring the rural areas to the same level of internet access as urban areas. [According to] the Internet Society, Africa has over 30 internet exchange points, which are facilitating terrestrial infrastructure, leading to cheaper and faster internet,” said Dhlamini.

Quality

Negussie said the enterprise was conscious about ensuring quality of the programmes and participants.

“eLearnAfrica carefully reviews each potential partner prior to inviting them on the platform. Our academic advisory board is comprised of internationally recognised leaders in academic coordination and education governance,” he said.

eLearnAfrica is committed to making available to participating universities data analysis and research on high-demand courses and search queries, as well as advising on best practices and support with content design and development.

For universities interested in immediately securing entire online courses for use in credit-bearing degree programmes, eLearnAfrica has existing content that is suitable for accreditation anywhere in Africa.

“These cover a very wide array of tech trades, like network management, IT support, software development and programming, Microsoft certification courses, and cybersecurity,” Negussie said.

“Through this partnership, we place existing African e-learning content in one easy-to-use platform; and we support universities that have decided to develop their own content. eLearnAfrica has the research outputs to share with its partners for data-driven content development, and the technical support necessary,” said Negussie.

The project is already under way and students and universities can visit the eLearnAfrica website or download the mobile application to see what is already available.

 


E-learning deal targets 10m Africans

By Admire Moyo, ITWeb's senior news journalist.
Johannesburg, 6 Feb 2017

The African e-learning market is witnessing massive growth, spurred by public-private partnerships.

eLearnAfrica and the Association of African Universities (AAU) have entered into a partnership to provide eLearnAfrica's services to AAU member universities.

This agreement will help African universities take advantage of the tools and delivery platform of the eLearnAfrica portal and mobile application for expanding educational opportunities. The organisations say the partnership aims to benefit about 10 million students on the continent.

According to a recent report by Ambient Insights, the African e-learning market is witnessing massive growth, spurred by public-private partnerships.

It points out Africa's e-learning market has doubled from 2011 to 2016, reaching $513 million. SA is Africa's largest e-learning market, followed by Angola, Nigeria and Tunisia. AAU is Africa's largest higher education co-ordinating body. It comprises 380 universities in 46 African countries.

Reach expansion

The agreement will enable universities to expand their reach by providing online, distance-learning opportunities to students everywhere, especially rural areas, which can access the tools with the mobile application.

Students throughout Africa face considerable difficulties in achieving a university degree, says eLearnAfrica. It notes high costs, competition for limited spaces, and the long distances that must be travelled are common reasons why students abandon their education. Only 6% of young people in sub-Saharan Africa are enrolled in higher education institutions compared to the global average of 26%, it adds.

The partnership will permit the AAU to support its member universities in the development and deployment of online learning resources. AAU member universities will be able to participate in Africa's largest resource for online courses and degree programmes.

The eLearnAfrica platform will allow member universities to use the eLearnAfrica Learning Management System by taking advantage of user-friendly technologies to support the didactic and administrative functions of the universities.

Currently, eLearnAfrica has over 1 000 courses from top-ranked universities though partnerships with edX and FutureLearn, including Harvard, MIT, and Cambridge, as well as professional development courses in 175 high-demand vocational and career paths like networking, software development, and business administration.

"The AAU continues to support its member universities to improve the quality of the education that they deliver to students," says Prof Etienne Ehouan Ehile, secretary-general of the AAU. "As an association, challenges of limited access to quality higher education continue to haunt us. Therefore, building capacities of African universities to be innovative in their teaching and learning methods for increased access to quality higher education is top priority for the AAU. This partnership with eLearnAfrica will help us achieve this goal."

"We are excited that the AAU has chosen eLearnAfrica to support the important work of its member universities," says Brook Negussie, CEO of eLearnAfrica. "The AAU is the most important higher education co-ordinating body; we are looking forward to developing and delivering content with the member universities throughout Africa."

Negussie notes the advantage for African universities and students are quite clear. "Online degrees are a great way for universities to extend and diversify their academic reach in a sustainable and scalable manner. We hope to significantly increase the number of students earning degrees in the next few years by literally putting in the palms of their hands the tools they need to succeed."

Quality material

ICT veteran Adrian Schofield points out e-learning provides access to quality material delivered at a consistent standard, and the reduced cost of books that need to be replaced.

Nonetheless, he says African governments as a whole are not investing sufficiently in e-learning, but need to implement infrastructure for delivery of e-learning first. Lack of affordable access is hindering widespread adoption, he adds.

Moira de Roche, independent learning specialist and director of the Institute of IT Professionals SA, says e-learning is the great leveller.

"Quality e-learning is accessible to anyone, anywhere, if they have connectivity. Learning can be completed at any time, at a learner's own pace. Transference of skills to the job are proven to be better than with classroom training, especially for training on digital skills – probably because you can try out what you learn immediately," she says.

However, she notes a general lack of understanding of e-learning is hindering the widespread adoption in Africa.

"Putting presentations, videos and documents online might be online learning, but e-learning is a rich, engaging, interactive learning experience. The instructional design strategy is different than for instructor-led, classroom-based training. There is not enough appreciation of the many benefits of investing in good e-learning. I think that the lobby for traditional methods is strong, because teachers and lecturers are threatened by the idea. They shouldn't be – they just have to change the way they do things."

 


 PRESS RELEASE

Agreement between 380-member Association of African Universities and eLearnAfrica aims to benefit 10 million students

6 February 2017

eLearnAfrica and the Association of African Universities (AAU) today announced a partnership to provide eLearnAfrica’s services to AAU member universities.  This agreement will help African universities take advantage of the powerful tools and delivery platform the eLearnAfrica portal and mobile application for expanding and deepening educational opportunities.

The Association of African Universities is Africa’s largest Higher Education coordinating body.  The AAU is comprised of 380 universities in 46 African countries.  The agreement will enable universities to expand their reach by providing online, distance-learning opportunities to students everywhere, especially rural areas accessible with the mobile application.

Students throughout Africa face considerable difficulties in achieving a university degree.  High costs, competition for limited spaces, and the long distances that must be travelled are common reasons why students abandon their education.  Only 6% of young people in sub-Saharan Africa are enrolled in higher education institutions compared to the global average of 26%. 

The partnership will permit the AAU to support its member universities in the development and deployment of online learning resources.  AAU member universities will be able to participate in Africa’s largest resource for online courses and degree programs.  eLearnAfrica platform will allow member universities to use the eLearnAfrica Learning Management System (LMS) by taking advantage of user-friendly technologies to support the didactic and administrative functions of the universities.

eLearnAfrica is a leading online education platform committed to increasing access to educational and professional development courses throughout Africa.  Currently, eLearnAfrica has over 1,000 courses from top-ranked universities though partnerships with edX and FutureLearn, including Harvard, MIT, and Cambridge, as well as professional development courses in 175 high-demand vocational and career paths like networking, software development, and business administration.  eLearnAfrica is now making available online degree programs to students throughout the continent.

The AAU has chosen eLearnAfrica because of the company’s progressive vision, online learning expertise, and easy-to-use tools.  The Secretary General of the AAU, Prof. Dr. Etienne Ehouan Ehile, stated that, “The AAU continues to support its member universities to improve the quality of the education that they deliver to students. As an Association, challenges of limited access to quality higher education continue to haunt us. Therefore building capacities of African universities to be innovative in their teaching and learning methods for increased access to quality higher education is top priority for the AAU.  This partnership with eLearnAfrica will help us achieve this goal.”

The CEO of eLearnAfrica, Brook Negussie, also welcomed the announcement.  “We are excited that the AAU has chosen eLearnAfrica to support the important work of its member universities.   The AAU is the most important higher education coordinating body, we are looking forward to developing and delivering content with the member universities throughout Africa.” 

Negussie notes the advantage for African universities and students are quite clear: “Online degrees are a great way for universities to extend and diversify their academic reach in a sustainable and scalable manner.  We hope to significantly increase the number of students earning degrees in the next few years by literally putting in the palms of their hands the tools they need to succeed.”

eLearnAfrica launched the website and mobile app to make finding and completing online courses and degrees easier.  Students can search through the catalogue of available courses and select the best ones from the world’s most prestigious universities.  Most of these courses are free, and the student can complete the coursework at their own pace.

Visit www.elearnafrica.com or download the free Android mobile application in the Google Play Store to learn about the courses and degree programs that are already available.

 


  

ZAOU partners with eLearnAfrica to extend learning throughout Africa

6 December 2016 (Staff Writer) Education, Mobile and Telecoms, Southern Africa, Top Stories

ZAUO Vice Chancellor

Left: ZAOU acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Yerokun Olusegun Adedayo.

The Zambian Open University (ZAOU) today announced its courses and degree programs will be available on eLearnAfrica, further extending the university’s reach into the country and across the continent.  eLearnAfrica.com is a newly launched mobile application and portal offering trusted sources of open education for Africans.  The site has seen over 385,000 visitors since its launch last month.

ZAOU is the first Open University in Zambia to actively empower thousands of Africans with easy access to world-class tuition by offering distance and face to face degree programs in Agricultural Sciences, Law, Education and more on the eLearnAfrica platform.  The university has over 3,000 students in 2016 and expects this to increase by 50% by joining the eLearnAfrica platform.

The ever-growing demand for higher education in Zambia is far from being satisfied.  With more than 50,000 pupils about to complete secondary school this year, the influx of hopeful students has grown beyond the capacity of historical higher learning resources.

eLearnAfrica is an innovative web portal built to assist African students and professionals search and access the best distance learning educational courses, online degrees and professional certifications from trusted sources around the world. 

“eLearnAfrica’s mission is to make learning opportunities available to everyone,” says eLearnAfrica CEO, Brook Negussie.  “We understand that it’s challenging to find trusted content on the internet if you aren’t sure what you are searching for.  Our platform was created to help Africans find courses, degree programmes and vocational skills courses for all educational levels from trusted third-party providers.

“It’s great that we are able to offer African content to students throughout the continent.  We also help collaboratively create content by providing rich analysis and data to Universities and academic institutions on the portal for them to best meet the demands of their prospective learners, adds Negussie.

eLearnAfrica has partnered with leading online course providers, from some of the best universities in the world.  ZAOU, the first Open University in Zambia, now takes pride of place alongside edX, the open course platform founded by Harvard University and MIT on the ground-breaking portal and mobile app.  edX offers hundreds of courses from the world’s top institutions, such as top-ranked Wharton Business School, the University of California, Berkeley and more.

Professor Olusegun Adedayo Yerokun Acting Vice Chancellor of ZAOU, commented: “Our collaboration with eLearnAfrica will ensure more extensive access to our comprehensive courses and degree programs for the sustainable development of human capital in Zambia and beyond. 

“We realized when we enrolled our first students in 2005 that demand could not be met through traditional methods of education. However, education can be brought to doorsteps, and now handsets, through new, flexible methods and approaches. We look forward to being able to distribute our best content throughout Africa on eLearnAfrica.”

eLearnAfrica encourages African universities to join this important initiative, so that their best programs can be made available online to students throughout the continent.  To find out more, visit http://www.elearnafrica.com/page/become-a-partner

 


 

eLearnAfrica, the on-line training company expands its network

 

eLearnAfrica is a social enterprise that aims to increase and widen access to vocational training in the African continent. It does this primarily through a digital education portal that is still growing, thanks to agreements with private companies in various African countries.

E-learning for Africa

Digitalisation, for Africa, can be an essential tool for socio-economic development. Access to the network provides possible solutions for the continent’s main challenges, from health, to education and the protection of human rights in the workplace. This issue is garnering a growing awareness, made evident by the proliferation of initiatives that focus on promoting the Internet as a tool for growth. An example of this work is eLearnAfrica, a social enterprise active in the field of on-line vocational training and now the leading on-line provider of vocational courses. It counts the continent’s leading institutions and companies as its partners.

One of Africa’s main strengths is its wide availability of workforce. It is a huge and young continent, and such potential requires the best tools and training to make strides in the workplace. On the other hand, raising the professional level of resources can only have positive effects on businesses and on their competitiveness, including internationally. This is why e-learning, capable of reaching the continent’s rural areas where infrastructure is lacking, can be a strategic solution.

A growing network

The eLearnAfrica network demonstrates exceptional dynamism and capacity for growth. A few weeks ago, for example, a partnership with FutureLearn was announced, a social learning platform that has over 4.5 million students, most prevalently in the United Kingdom. Another important agreement that eLearnAfrica has signed is with itSM Solutions that, through the African platform, aims to distribute over 1,400 training courses, across 175 different areas.

 


 

Meet the man who is providing free education to Africans

15 November 2016

Many people on the continent can't afford tertiary education, so Brook Negussie has found a way to make free education possible

As many South Africans battle to afford tertiary education fees, the CEO of eLearnAfrica, Negussie, is spearheading an online platform that offers free courses and degree programmes.

Across Africa, the educational infrastructure cannot meet the current or future needs of the general population. While higher education participation rates in many high-income countries are well over 50%, in sub-Saharan Africa they are in most cases below 5%. As debates about and demands for free education continue, eLearnAfrica presents an affordable solution for students throughout the continent.

As an education platform, eLearnAfrica offers opportunities to African students at every stage of higher education and career development, with courses from the world’s best universities. There are currently 1 071 programmes on the course catalogue, including full degrees, vocational training, and industry-standard professional certifications.

Establishing an education platform

“We set out to combine local knowledge with long-term global expertise to bring the most trusted online educational content to Africa,” says Negussie. “Only a month after going live, we have over 225 000 visitors searching for trusted, professional courses, programmes and degrees.”

He adds that establishing eLearnAfrica has been a truly global effort of collaboration and partnerships. The online platform works with social learning platform FutureLearn and EdX, a non-profit online learning destination founded by Harvard University and MIT, offering hundreds of courses from the world’s top institutions such as top-ranked Wharton Business School, the University of California, Berkeley, and more.

To ensure that potential students are able to navigate the video-based training content, eLearnAfrica has also partnered with itSM Solutions to offer classroom-style, on-demand, video-based professional certification programmes.

“We have been overwhelmed by the response from people who are hungry for quality online content,” says Negussie. “It’s encouraging that we have an answer to a clear need in the market. More and more trusted content providers continue to approach us to include their programmes, degrees and offerings to African high school graduates who cannot study in formal institutions like universities or vocational colleges, largely due to a lack of funding and resources.”

Looking ahead

Negussie envisions increasing access to education across the continent. “In the long term, we would like to help collaboratively create content by providing rich analysis and data to universities and academic institutions for them to best meet the demands of their prospective learners.”

What advice does he have for prospective students?

“I encourage people [to] visit www.elearnafrica.com or download the free mobile application in the Google Play store. Look for courses that interest you, enrol and complete them. Add them to your resume and take a positive step towards improving your career prospects,” concludes Negussie.

 


 

ELEARNAFRICA AND YOUBORA PARTNER TO IMPROVE ONLINE EDUCATION ANALYSIS IN AFRICA