High-level presentations at eLearning Africa, Africa’s leading conference on technology for development and education, will focus on the role ICTs are playing in transforming the continent’s rural economies by improving access to information and training.

Reports indicate that over 70 per cent of African workers are employed in farming and the role ICTs can play in boosting agricultural growth has been identified by the African Union as a key factor in making a reality of its 2063 Vision of a “transformed continent.”

The subject has been described as “critical” by African political leaders and will be one of the matters under discussion at a roundtable meeting for education and technology ministers at the conference.

The 10th eLearning Africa Conference is the key networking event for ICT enhanced education and training in Africa. As the largest annual conference of its kind, the three-day event is a must for those wanting to develop multinational and cross-industry partnerships and contacts whilst enhancing their knowledge, expertise and abilities.

The 2015 eLearning Africa conference on ICT for Development, Education and Training is slated for May 20 – 22, 2015 at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

eLearning Africa will provide a showcase of a series of presentations about new training-based solutions to some of the most enduring challenges facing Africa’s farming and rural communities. Presenters include:

Mr. Willis Ndeda Ochilo of CABI, a leading agricultural entomologist, will explain how CABI’s ‘Plantwise’ initiative, which organises weekly plant clinics supported by an online database with access to international expertise, is helping to improve the productivity of agricultural crops.

Ghanaian, Albert Yeboah Obeng of Foresight Generation Club, will discuss the contribution new initiatives, such as online farmer association meetings and agricultural e-commerce, can make not only to economic growth but to more environmentally sensitive farming practices and the development of resilience to the effects of climate change.

Creesen Naicker of the MRP Foundation (a part of the Global Literacy Project), will demonstrate the free, tablet-based learning platforms his organisation has been providing to disadvantaged rural populations in parts of South Africa, such as Kwa Zulu Natal.

Nathan Castillo of the University of Pennsylvania will show the effect on struggling learners in rural areas of South Africa of providing culturally contextualised, high-quality digital content in local languages through the ‘Bridges to the Future Initiative.’

“If proven successful,” says Mr Castillo, “the programme will be scaled up to other low performing provinces and then throughout the entire country as a means of improving the quality of early literacy learning that takes place in the most marginalized environments.”