eLearning Africa (2009) African Virtual University Launches Ten-Country Distance Learning Facility eLearning Africa News Portal, December 21

From the report:

The African Virtual University (AVU) in partnership with the African Development Bank (AfDB) is launching Open Distance and eLearning Centres (ODeL) in ten African countries over the next five months. The first launch took place at the University of Zambia in October with subsequent launches in Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Senegal, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe, the effort continuing until early 2010.

The expansion will enable more universities to introduce eLearning into their existing curricula and create a community of peers that will generate original research on eLearning methodologies. It will also help universities generate a long-term and sustainable revenue base.

There is also a good brief description of the AVU and its work in this report.

For an update on this report, see: More on the African Virtual University


  1. The African Virtual University has made positive steps in the last year to become a more inclusive and effective organization. I was at the launch of the Open and Distance e-Learning (ODeL) Centre at the Open University of Tanzania (OUT) on December 10, 2009. According to the opening speech given by Dr. Bakary Diallo, Rector of the African Virtual University, the main functions of the ODeL Centre at OUT are:
    • “to be a training facility for staff in the use of ICT in the development, delivery, and management of open, distance and e-learning;
    • to be a delivery point for the current and future ODeL programmes such as the Teacher Education Programme;
    • to be the physical location where staff are able to conduct research and participate in collaborative work in ODeL;
    • to guarantee long-term sustainability by enabling the university to generate revenue.”

    The African Virtual University is striving to “unlock the potential of ICTs in order to increase access to quality higher education”. Dr. Diallo believes that ICTs have the potential to:
    • “improve the quality of teaching and learning;
    • improve university administration;
    • increase access to higher education in Africa;
    • increase access to educational resources through digital libraries and e-resources;
    • improve research activities;
    • foster collaboration and networking between universities, i.e., through communities of practice;
    • foster further collaboration between the private sector and higher education;
    • enhance sub-regional and regional integration;
    • facilitate the mobility of teachers and graduates.”

    I expect that the ODeL will work in a collaborative manner with the centres of specialization being established by the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

  2. Dear Tonny,
    Thank you for the good piece on AVU. I am a communication & Marketing conultant working with AVU for the last two months.

    On Tuesday, 2nd 2010, the African Virtual University (AVU) held a concluding meeting of the first phase of the Teacher Education program. The AVU will now hand over the virtual Teacher training progam through Open distance eLearning Centres set up in 10 countries in Africa.

    The conference was attended by the Deputy Minister of Higher Tertiary Education, Zimbabwe Senator Lutho Tapela. Delegates from over 15 countries in Africa-ministries of education, universities, teacher unions and strategic partners and will address the best implementation strategies in each country, the extension of the program to more universities and countries and the long term sustainability of this initiative.

    The AVU is facilitating a virtual training program for teachers in 10 African Countries. The program is already on progress in the Universitė Cheikh Anta Diop in Senegal and Kyambogo University in Uganda. Other beneficiary countries are Kenya, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Somalia, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The program is funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and partly by the UNDP.

    As part of its strategic responses to the continental challenges facing the teaching profession and to contribute to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the AVU initiated in 2005 a continent-wide teacher education and training program which focuses on increasing the quantity and quality of Mathematics, Science and ICT teachers through the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). The goal of the program is to enhance the capacity of teachers in the use of ICTs as a tool for teaching and learning Mathematics and Science, increase the number of qualified and effective Mathematics and Science teachers, and develop the capacity of teachers to teach ICTs as a discipline.

    “This initiative is driven by our desire to see Africa develop to a level where its citizens can compete with anyone in the world. The talent has always been here. AVU’s role is to ensure that people have access to the education that they will need to advance themselves and the continent” noted Dr. Bakary Diallo, AVU’s Rector.

    The greatest asset of the AVU is its ability to work across borders and language groups in Anglophone, Francophone and Lusophone Africa.

    Over its 13 years of existence, the AVU has trained more than 40,000 students, has established 53 centers in 27 countries, and has acquired the largest of Open Distance and e-Learning (ODeL) network in Africa. Its greatest asset is its ability to work across borders and language groups in Anglophone, Francophone and Lusophone Africa conflict and post-conflict zones. In Somalia, AVU has graduated 4,000 students, 30% of whom are women.

    The AVU is an inter-governmental organization headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya and with a regional office in Dakar Senegal. Its mission is to facilitate the use of effective Open Distance and e-Learning methodologies in African Tertiary Education Institutions

    The AVU is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya with a regional office in Dakar, Senegal. http://www.avu.org

    For more information Please contact:

    Anastasia Mutisya

    Email: amutisya@avu.org

    Tel: +254 721 760576/0733792674

  3. I am a zimbabwean citizen i have heard a lot about this institution and i would like to study with you through distance learning.im intrested in management and administration of development programmes so i need information on how to enrol.keep up the good work


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