7th Africa’s eLearning conference slated for Benin

The seventh edition of the International conference on ICT for development, Education and training has been scheduled for May 23, 2012 in Cotonou, Benin.

Over 300 speakers are expected to address the conference in what would be viewed as the largest gatherings of high-level policy makers, decision makers and practitioners from education, business and government, and eLearning in Africa.

“Benin’s strides towards implementing sound strategies for the widespread use of ICTs make it the ideal place to convene,” said eLearning Africa.

The two-day event that will feature 12-pre conference workshops and about 60 sessions, is set to focus on finding the ways ICT can be integrated into education and training activities in Africa.

Elearning Africa said the conference will offer the host country an opportunity to reexamine its social, cultural, and economic distinctions, which collectively define the country’s diversity.

Benin’s current ICT policy came into effect in 2008 following the adoption of the Sector Policy Statement (SPS) to bring the country fully into the digital age — by attracting foreign direct investment in order to grow the telephony and ICT sector.

As of 2010, according to CIA statistics, Benin with its population of 9 million people had had an estimated 210,000 Internet users. The country is now implementing E-Benin project, which entails overhauling and modernising the telecoms sector, seeing the government transition fully into digital technology and making Benin the digital capital of Africa by 2015.

Benin is also presently allocating more resources to its schools, improving the infrastructure, training more teachers and delivering up-to-date teaching materials. Increasingly, these teaching materials are starting to include ICTs in selected urban schools.

Elearning Africa however noted that despite a long time running effort to promote ICT in the country, the pace has been slow.

This slow pace of development is somewhat surprising considering that in 1995, Benin became the first West African country to connect to the Internet, noted e-learning Africa.

eLearning conference has been hosted by a number of countries to date including Addis Ababa, Nairobi, Accra, Dakar, Lusaka and Dares Salaam.
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