Inte
rnet connections, technical and training support, and applications and content.

1.6.1.3

Widening

Access

ICT infrastructure is a prerequisite
for
all ICT in education applications
, as well as effective use of
OER and development of ODL programmes. Ensuring that
every higher education institution
is
connected requires a sustained political drive

to provide connectivity throughout the education
system to facilitate
deeper and wider access to the Internet, online resources, and institutional
systems
.
This may requir
e
changes in the telecommunications regulatory environment aimed at
driving down the price of connectivity.
This
should
form
part of the vision of national education
systems to ensure that every educator has access to a relevant computing device and associ
ated ICT
peripherals.

Policy interventions will also be required to ensure that under
-
serviced areas receive
infrastructure investment and remote education institutions also get connected to a
telecommunications networks. The promotion of NRENs is one poss
ible solution to this issue, but
this often requires regional entities to negotiate access with larger networks in Europe and
elsewhere. Taking a continental approach and developing a continental strategy for improving
bandwidth and internet access speed c
ould provide a more harmonized approach and a strong
22

bargaining position that could yield reduced costs and complexity for all higher education
institutions on the continent.
14


Furthermore,
all
students
, regardless of their geographical location or income
level, need to be
provided access to the
necessary
resources (harnessing all media as appropriate) and available
learning opportunities

to enable them to complete their studies successfully. It thus
becomes critical
to open access to content, so that it ca
n legitimately be used and manipulated by learners to support
their learning.

Finally, e
ducational and governmental bodies
should clearly define their
commit
ment

to the goals toward which the technology will be applied, ensur
ing

that issues regarding acces
sibility
and equity are
covered
, develop
ing

measurable objectives and realistic timelines, assign
ing

specific
responsibilities to individuals and groups who will facilitate the change process, and provid
ing

the
necessary resources.

1.6.1.4

Capacity Building

The i
mplementation of
ICT and/or ODL methods
to enhance education requires leaders who are
flexible, open to new ideas,

and willing to make decisions, and
thus there is a need to build capacity
in African leaders and administrators to ensure that leveraging ICT

for a knowledge society is both a
top
-
down and bottom
-
up process.

In addition,

relevant ongoing professional development activities
should be made available to all educators to enable them to acquire the skills and competencies
necessary to use ICT to per
form their jobs effectively and productively.

T
his requires that educators
be provided the necessary resources (harnessing all media as appropriate), tools, and information
for teaching to create effective learning opportunities for
students
. Incentives s
hould be provided to
encourage or, where appropriate, require the use of ICT by relevant personnel. In addition, the time
and effort required to develop and support
ODL and e
-
learning
courses
needs to
be recognized.
Without this, professional development i
nvestments are likely to have limited effect.

As part of this
capacity building effort, there is value in creating and sustaining e
ffective communities of practice to
foster sharing of information and collaboration.
Such collaboration has additional
potent
ial
side
benefits of improving quality (through reviewing and vetting others’ materials), increasing access
and reducing costs through sharing.
Finally, consideration needs to be given to how the private
sector can engage with institutions of higher educat
ion to build ICT capacity and assist in the
progress towards knowledge based societies and economies in Africa.

1.6.1.5

Quality
M
atters

In ensuring the quality of ODL and OER, there is a need to build a common understanding of quality
through broad consultation,
introduce mechanisms for programme accreditation and institutional
audits against sound criteria, ensure collaboration and partnerships in setting quality criteria, and
promote internal and external forms of quality assurance in order to prevent poor pract
ice and to
stimulate innovation. In addition, it may be useful to consider following up on the development of a
continental QA framework and ensuring that issues of ODL and OER are integrated into the
framework.


At the national level, ODL offerings in
most African countries appear predominantly to be
undifferentia
ted from conventional offerings.
This calls for a need to focus on preparing separate QA
of ODL or ensuring that QA of ODL forms part of broader educational QA guidelines and policies.
Where co
untries and institutions do not have or are developing their QA frameworks, there is a
potential to include ODL and e
-
learning elements early in the formation of such frameworks, thus
making it easier to ensure that innovation and QA go hand in hand.
The r
ole of the ACDE QAAA and



14

Butcher, N. (2010) ICT, Education, Develo
pment and the Knowledge Society
,
retrieved from
http://www.gesci.org/assets/files/ICT,%20Education,%20Development,%20and%20the%20Knowledge%20Society(1).pdf

23

the AAU will be of particular importance in this area.
Institutions will also benefit from periodic
reviews of institutional OER and ODL practices to determine the value of their policies and practices.

1.6.1.6

Enhancing Management, Admin
istration
,

and Operations

The successful application of ICT in improving systemic efficiency and operations can lead to
improvements in delivery of
higher education
. In particular, investments should be made in
developing applications that significantly im
prove the quality of management information systems
(at national and institutional level) and the ability to use these systems to support strategic decision
-
making and policy implementation; and contribute to stimulating free flow of information
throughout

the education system. This can facilitate better planning, monitoring, and resource
allocation. Improved use of the Internet, computers and mobile and wireless technologies can also
enhance data gathering, analysis and use at universities. Institutions ca
n use an electronic
management system to manage their day
-
to
-
day operations. This should generate required national
Educational Management Information System (EMIS) data automatically, so that no additional work
is required to meet national
,
regional

and c
ontinental

reporting requirements.

1.6.1.7

C
ontent
C
reation and
K
nowledge
M
anagement

Key players in African higher education
may want to consider judicious investments in content
creation to ensure compliance with African curricula, or local language demands, mot
ivating usage
by teachers and learners. These materials
would ideally
be released using
open licences to facilitate
re
-
use and on
-
going adaptation
.

A
dopting policies that lead to release of intellect
ual capital under
open licenses

and ensuring that this is

stored in a sustainable online repository would help
significantly to reduce wastage and duplication of investment.

In addition, they can invest in open
access journals that drive innovation and meet the needs of scientific research at institutions.
Relat
ed to this is the potential to invest in knowledge management systems and strategies to store,
curate, and share educational content. Ideally, to ensure cost
-
effectiveness, this would be done as
part of a coordinated regional strategy or in partnership wit
h emerging global OER networks and
repositories. An online repository of case studies, evaluation findings, trends in ICT,
best practices
and models and tools for financial planning and evaluation would support capacity building for
African leaders, while
creating a managed online environment for them to publish and network with
each other.

1.6.1.8

Research, Monitoring
,

and Evaluation

Development of research is vital for Africa
,

and
is a core function of
higher education
system.

Thus, it
is vital to invest in a con
tinuo
us process of evaluation of ICT
-
related interventions in education
, ODL
programmes, and use of OER
. The availability of open access publications means that African
academics have the opportunity to disseminate their research fast, with world
-
wide cove
rage,
allowing them recognition as their papers are read and cited by others. In addition, they have quick,
free access to

articles of interest (although

a prerequisite
would be good Internet access).

Critically,
though, it is important to ensure that Afri
can universities make a growing contribution to these
knowledge bases, as African research experience and output is currently highly under
-
represented in
these emerging global knowledge networks.

1.6.1.9

Awareness
-
raising and advocacy

Advoca
ting

the benefits of IC
T, ODL and OER
is
important to realize benefits of their potential and
promise and to address misperceptions. In particular, it may be worthwhile preparing a sound
rationale and vision for ODL and OER to advocate and promote their adoption. For institutions
starting
ICT
-
bas
ed,
OER
,

and
/or

ODL initiatives, awareness creation
is likely to
be essential to drive
institutional adoption of
, e
-

and m
-
learning,

OER and
/or

ODL. This may include holding consultations
24

and workshops with relevant stakeholders. Furthermore, it is importa
nt that such policies be aligned
to institutional mission a
nd objectives to ensure buy
-
in.

1.7

Implications for an African Higher Education and Research
Space

This report sought to provide a comprehensive overview of progress, opportunities, and challenges
ass
ociated with the use of ICT, ODL, and OER in African higher education. Drawing on this, it has
identified some broad areas for action for consideration by role players in the sector. In this final
section, it draws together these analyses to reflect on the

potential implications for an AHERS.
Necessarily, there is some degree of repetition, but the analysis below provides a summary of key
issues for consideration in establishing an AHERS. This has two components: first, exploring how ICT,
ODL, and OER can c
ontribute to establishing and maintaining an AHERS; second, discussing possible
ways in which an AHERS, when it is established, can contribute to effective use of ICT, ODL, and OER
in higher education in Africa.

1.7.1

Roles of ICT, ODL, and OER in Establishing a
nd Maintaining and AHERS

1.7.1.1

Harnessing ODL and e
-
Learning to Strengthen Teaching and Research Capacity

Possibly
the most obvious contribution that ICT, ODL, and OER can make to establishing and
maintaining an AHERS is to support development of teaching and re
search capacity. A coordinated
continental
approach to developing programmes would enable larger
-
scale implementation in a
significantly more cost
-
effective fashion, particularly if existing curricula, materials and teaching and
learning methodologies alre
ady developed on the co
ntinent are harnessed. I
f the resulting course
and programme materials can be released as OER, they can be cheaply translated and adapted to
different contexts without having to pay significant fees. Such an activity could potentiall
y be
coordinated by the AAU, possibly with key support from the AC
DE and its member institutions.


Another key capacity gap is in the qualifications of academics in many institutions. ODL, e
-
learning,
and flexible learning programmes offer opportunities fo
r academic staff to upgrade their
qualifications without having to travel to study full
-
time.
A

coordinated approach to delivery of these
programmes and the matching of supply with demand would serve to accelerate these professional
development initiatives
, thus supporting the development of an AHERS. For this to work successfully,
the AU’s Harmonization of Higher Education Strategy has a key role to play in ensuring equivalence
of quali
fications across the continent; and the
implementation of he AU Quality

Rating Mechanism
and the ACDE’s QAAA can make a significant contribution to ensuring that ODL and e
-
learning
qualifications available via ODL and e
-
learning are of a high standard
and

will be recognized by the
institutions at which participating academics

are working.


Finally, ICT can play a significant role in supporting capacity building by enabling academics to work
together on research and educational activities without having to be in the same institution and/or
country.
I
t can enable academics to en
ter into mentoring relationships that enable them to gain
access to this expertise without having to travel or move institutions. This kind of partnership is
readily facilitated by effective use of online communication and collaboration tools. To work
effe
ctively, this will also benefit from regional and/or continental coordination, so that people with
similar educational and research interests can find each other through, say, a web platform that
matches people by these interests. Several of the continenta
l agencies identified in this report would
be well placed to launch such an initiative.

25

1.7.1.2

Developing Appropriate Continental
Database

Systems

ICT has created enormous opportunities in online sharing of information and resources, which hold
great promise for

building an effective AHERS, including:



The AAU’s DATAD
, which holds significant promise to make accessible large volumes of African
intellectual capital in the form of theses and dissertations. Implemented in parallel with
institutional efforts at digiti
zation of research products and their sharing through institutional
repositories, this liberation of African intellectual capital for open access across the continent
has huge potential to develop an effective AHERS.



Open Access Journals, which are
an
important contributor to improving access to research
generated in African universities. Although there is a growing number of highly respected open
access journals, greater effort is required both to support (in policy and financially) the
establishment o
f open access journals in key areas and to encourage academics to publish their
research in open access journals.

There are already several efforts of this kind underway on the
continent, so the priority should be to bolster these rather than to create new

initiatives.



OER Repositor
ies, such as those established by individual institutions, OER Africa, and the AVU.
Like open access journals, these online repositories are making available growing numbers of
high quality OER that have been produced by and for
African higher education programmes.
Further support of these initiatives and encouragement to both academics and whole
institutions to share their resources under open licences can make a significant contribution to
building an effective AHERS. If this ca
n be complemented by initiatives of International
Governmental
Organisations (IGOs), development

banks, and donors to provide access to their
intellectual capital under similar conditions, the contribution to African higher education could
be significant,
as this creates a strong and ever
-
growing platform of readily available intellectual
capital on top of which to further develop higher education systems on the continent.



The
AU
Quality Rating
Mechanism

and associated online systems (including the ACDE’s Q
AAA),
which hold enormous potential to make accessible important information about educational
programmes available across African universities, their educational quality, and the
opportunities these programmes generate for cross
-
border academic mobil
ity.



The
AU Education Observatory
, which has a key role to play in gathering, analysing, and sharing
information about key trends in African higher education. ICT plays a major role in these
statistical and analytical exercises.

1.7.1.3

Adoption of Open Licences for Sh
aring
Educational

Resources and Research Outputs

As open licences make sharing and re
-
use of intellectual capital significantly easier and more cost
-
effective, many institutions and other agencies involved in higher education are making
commitments to shar
e their intellectual capital online under open licences, with significant
ramifications for ease and cost of access to information. From this perspective, establishment of an
AHERS would be facilitated by the following activities taking place within and ac
ross higher
education systems in Africa:



Ensur
ing
that
countries and
institution
have
in place

robust, enforceable IPR
,

copyright
, and
privacy

policies
, the terms of which are accurately reflected in all legal contracts and conditions
of employment
. As par
t of this

policy process
,
it would be useful to
consider the relative merits
of creating flexible copyright policies that apply open licences to content
by default, but that also
make it easy
for
staff
to invoke

all
-
rights reserved
copyright
or other licen
sing permutations
where this is justified.



Invest
ing

in ongoing awareness
-
raising
,

capacity
-
building
, and networking/sharing

activities to
develop the full range of competences required to facilitate more effective use of
open licences.
These activities
could aim to encourage a shared vision for open educational practices within
higher education institutions, which would ideally be aligned to those institutions’ vision and
mission.

26



Ensuring that academics and students have ubiquitous access to the necessa
ry ICT infrastructure
and connectivity to access the Internet and develop or adapt research and educational materials
of different kinds.

1.7.1.4

Use of Social Networking Tools
to

Facilitate Collaboration

Finally, a critical role for ICT in supporting the effectiv
e creation of an AHERS is deployment and use
of social networking tools to facilitate collaboration. Although there is burgeoning range of online
Communities of Practice that provide vibrant and effective networks of sharing of expertise in
different aspec
ts of higher education, the presence of African academics in many of these
Communities is very minimal, while often those established specifically for African higher education
are not especially active (although there are exceptions to this). Effective, de
velopment of an AHERS
will be significantly enhanced by more effective use of social networking tools to facilitate
collaboration, combined with concerted efforts to encourage (or, in certain circumstances, require)
more active engagement by African academ
ics in these online Communities. There is generally not a
need to establish new online communities, but rather to coordinate efforts to use these tools to
facilitate sharing of expertise and collaborative online approaches to problem
-
solving, research, and

even teaching and learning. Where these online communities can be integrated with evolving tools
that facilitate translation of text, they might also help to facilitate dialogue between African
academics who speak different languages.

1.7.2

Roles of an AHERS i
n Supporting Effective Use of ICT, ODL, and OER

1.7.2.1

Collaboration, Coordination
,

and Partnerships

This report has highlighted the breadth and range of organizations supporting effective use of ICT,
ODL, and OER in higher education in Africa. It is naturally es
sential that an AHERS should seek to
coordinate, rather than duplicating, these efforts. Thus, its activities will need to be underpinned by
a strong commitment to engaging the wide range of players and stakeholders

in the sector in order
to work out strat
egies to facilitate collaboration, coordination, and partnerships between them.
There are several benefits to increased coordination and collaboration, most usefully preventing the
duplication of efforts thus saving costs and time. In this regard, the foll
owing is
suggested
:



An AHERS should seek to e
nsure that there are appropriate forums, short courses, and
leadership capacity programmes so that African leaders are capacitated to support and make
decisions which seek to leverage ICT
, ODL, and OER

effective
ly.



An AHERS should e
ncourage a continental/multilateral initiative for the
integration
of ICT
and
OER
in
to

higher education
,

with an emphasis on partnerships between the private sector and
institutions with established experience in
effective use of
ICT.



An AHERS should facilitate the work of the ACDE to further develop and maintain
a
comprehensive database of ODL and OER providers
, experts,

and initiatives to increase visibility
of various
activities, share expertise,
and to coordinate efforts.

Strong sup
port will be necessary
to ensure that the work already commenced by the ACDE is sustained and kept up to date.
Partnerships can also be forged in this regard with other relevant initiatives, such as the AAU’s
DATAD
, the AVU OER Repository, and OER Africa.



Support should be provided to the further development of
a
suitable
continental monitoring and
evaluation program
me

for Higher Education
, which incorporates metrics related to ICT, ODL, and
OER
. The AU
Education
Observatory is in a unique position
in this regard
to work with partner
institutions to expand a set of indicators developed for the Second Decade of Education for
Africa 2006
-
2014 initiative to measure progress of RECs
,

continental and regional partners,
member states
, and institutions
.



An
AHERS might function as a mechanism to stimulate the launch of a series of specialized
Communities of Practice related to ICT, ODL, and OER.

27

1.7.2.2

Awareness
-
Raising

and
Advocacy

There are many agencies already actively engaged in advocacy, at continental, region
al, national,
and institutional levels, in ICT, ODL, and OER. Nevertheless, there remains a strong need for ongoing
advocacy, ideally by supporting these existing initiatives and finding ways to amplify their reach and
effectiveness. Specifically, it is im
portant, within an AHERS to
:



Sensitize governments about the potential of ICT, ODL
,

and OER

to enhance access and improve
the quality of higher education in Africa
. Whilst there have been efforts towards, and
achievements gained with regards to ICT in gene
ral and ODL in particular, more
emphasis
needs
to be placed
on sensitizing governments and African academics about the potential of OER.



Ensure that African leaders have a good understanding of
ICT,
ODL
,

and OER
to
make informed
policy and investment decis
ions to
harness
ICT, ODL
,

and OER to support higher education
development.



Help g
overnments
to
review national ICT/connectivity
policies and
strategies for Higher
Education
,

given the centrality of ICT to accessing and sharing content online

and, increasin
gly,
to effective use of ODL.



As part of the above, expand the reach and impact of National and Regional Research and
Education Networks to ensure that all institutions of higher education have access to stable and
fast internet.



I
ncreased coordination a
nd res
ource
-
sharing between African institutions should be beneficial as
institutions move to fully integrate ICT into their teaching and learning
, while r
egional platforms
for sharing information on ICT policies and courseware and exchanging experiences a
re useful to
increasing the positive contribution of ICT to
not only to higher education but all levels of
education.

1.7.2.3

A
Focus on
Open Licensing

Given the importance of open licensing and the potential contribution of open access publishing and
sharing of OER to the development of higher education in Africa and sharing of African knowledge
with the world, it is suggested that an underlying principl
e of all activities within an AHERS be that
resources are shared under a suitable
open licence. This

will facilitate free sharing and flow of
knowledge within and beyond the Space, thereby facilitating its core functions of developing higher
education on the continent and raising the profile of African higher education globally.
It will also be
important

for an AHERS to be
familiar with the shifting terrain of IPR and copyright and understand
the range of licensing options available for
research and
educational materials.
An AHERS should
also create opportunities for
stakeholder
-
driven debates about the l
ikely effect of these changes and
how they might influence national
higher education
systems
and qualifications frameworks
in higher
education.

A good way of motivating institutions and organi
z
ations to adopt OER policies and
practices is for
an AHERS
to a
dopt

an

open licensin
g
approach

itself,

thereby modelling and
encouraging a culture of sharing. Thus,
in this regard, to
adopt and support the use of content
management and authoring tools (web content editing tools, content management systems),
templates,

and toolkits that facilitate the creation of adaptable, inclusively designed educational
resources

would be a good starting point for an AHERS
. Any new materials commissioned for
development
by the AHERS
should be licensed under a suitable Creative Common
s licence so that
they can be freely copied and adapted,
by
the public, but with proper recognition.

1.7.2.4

Developing A
ppropriate
P
olicies
and Plans

An AHERS
can
play an active role in
promot
ing

the development of
both national and
institutional
ICT policies an
d strategic frameworks that consider the role of ICT
, ODL, and OER

in curriculum

delivery.

It is especially important to ensure that these policies and plans, at the very least, i
nvest in
ongoing policy cycles of
planning, implementation, reflection, refin
ement, effectiveness, and user
28

acceptance.

They should ideally also
include performance indicators so that progress can be
measured.


At the continental level, the African Union can be a driver of the connection between higher
education and ICT. Already,
this relationship can be see through the Second Decade for Education in
Africa (2006
-
2014) Plan of Action that stipulates that ICT development in higher education should be
pursued.
15

Continental partners could work with the AU to develop a continental stra
tegy document
for integra
ting ICT into higher education.


African leaders could also benefit from
access to a dynamic repository of policy frameworks, case
studies of African and international experience, legislative frameworks, and monitoring and
evaluati
on outcomes relating to the use of ICT for education and development
,

as they could learn
from best practices and understand the necessary policy mechanisms required to build ICT capacity
in higher education
.

1.7.2.5

Building
C
apacity

There
are many ways in
which
an AHERS can contribute to building
capacity in ICT, ODL, and OER,
working in

partnership with those agencies and institutions already active in these areas on the
continent
. These might include:



Developing common, openly licensed course and programm
e materials that can be adapted and
used in professional development initiatives;



Supporting the aggregation and release under open licen
c
es of digital learning resources
produced in African countries in order to widen and deepen the pool of available educ
ational
content that is specifically designed with African educational contexts in mind;



Supporting the development of
NRENS
, and deployment of associated data networks and
applications (grid
-
computing, video
-
conferencing, e
-
learning, and so on);



Developin
g the capacity of policy makers and regulators to enable them to establish more
effective ICT in education policies, strategies, and regulatory frameworks
;



Invest
ing

in ongoing awareness
-
raising, capacity
-
building, and networking/sharing activities to
deve
lop the full range of competences required to facilitate more effective use of educational
resources in education delivery.

1.7.2.6

Strengthen
ing

the
F
ocus on
R
esearch

Given the centrality of research to the concept of an AHERS, it is important that emphasis shoul
d be
placed on research in the fields of ICT, ODL, and OER.
Drawing on case studies and expertise existing
in Africa,
AHERS can, amongst other research activities
:

1)

Invest in a continuous process of
research and
evaluation of I
CT
-
, ODL
-

and OER
-
related
inte
rventions in
higher
education.
A key focus should be on ensuring that the resulting research
is formally published

to widen access to knowledge from Africa.

2)

Invest in knowledge
-
sharing events and innovative ways of publishing and distributing research
find
i
ngs, so that
African professionals have access to research, monitoring, and evaluation
findings, and are themselves producers of knowledge and lessons to share globally.

3)

Support the development of regional, national, and institutional
knowledge management

systems and strategies to store, curate
, and share educational content, ideally

as part of a
coordinated national
, regional, or continental

strategy
and
in partnership with emerging global
OER netwo
rks and repositories.




15

African Union. (2006). S
econd Decade of Education for Africa (2006
-
201
5
) Plan of Action

revised August 2006
. Tertiary
Education, Activity Nine.
Retrieved from
http://www.nepad.org/
system/files/Second%20Decade%20of%20Education%202006
-
2015.pdf


29

4)

Ensure that donors and government
s

invest in open access journals that drive innovation and
meet the needs of scientific research at institutions
.

5)

Develop resources that showcase and research best practices for integrating ICT, ODL, and OER
into higher education, which can
be shared across
the continent.

6)

Coordinate through appropriate partnerships, investment in
pilot projects that test the use of
new and innovative technologies, ensuring that these experiments are well evaluated and the
results widely shared.


The AU could play an important

role in organizing and conducting monitoring and evaluation of
regional and member state ICT initiatives.
Particularly,

the AU Observatory is well positioned to fulfil
such a role and already does

so

in the context of the Second Decade of Education for Af
rica 2006
-
2014.
M
ember states and
RECs
could work with the AU Observatory and its partners to develop a
process and capacity for collecting information on efforts to achieve ICT in higher education (a key
activity of the Second Decade Plan of Action)
.

1.8

Conc
lusion

This report demonstrated that ICT, ODL, and OER are an integral and essential part of the higher
education landscape on the continent and that there are already several agencies and institutions
actively involved in

each field. T
he report identified

several key areas for action, and then drawn
from these a concrete set of implications for an AHERS. We hope it makes a useful contribution to
forging this space to the advantage of all students currently enrolled in African universities, as well
as for t
hose generations of students who will enrol in, and graduate from, our higher education
institutions in the future.



30

2

Introduction


The African Higher Education and Research Space (AHERS) see
ks to create opportunities for
institutional, national, regional
,

and continental collaboration using the common challenges
experienced by higher education institutions in Africa as the driving force behind this
collaboration.
AHERS is an initiative spearheaded by
the
Association for the Development of
Education in Afri
ca

(
ADEA) Working Group on Higher Education (WGHE), African Union Commission
(AUC),
United Nations Economic, Scientific and Cultural Organization

(
UNESCO
)
,
and
Association of
African Universities (AAU) among others, following the 2009 UNESCO World Conferen
ce on Higher
Education (WCHE) whose Communiqué placed emphasis on the need to develop an African Higher
Education and Research Area through institutional, national, regional and continental collaboration.
The basic objectives of creating an AHERS
are
to st
rengthen the capacity of African higher education
institutions through collaboration in teaching and research, improve the quality of higher education,
and promote academic mobility across the continent through the recognition of academic
qualifications.
16


Several aspects have been identified for fostering collaboration, among them promoting open
and distance learning (ODL) to improve access to tertiary education

and

effective use of
information and communication technology (ICT).
17

This report,
which is
based exclusively on
desk research, explores how ODL and ICT, as well as
use of
open educational resources (OER)
,

can
serve to
strengthen and sustain AHERS. This
is
done
by providing
a description and analysis
of opportunities and challenges in current pra
ctice in use of ICT, ODL
,

and OER in higher
education in Africa. Policy issues in these three areas
are
also discussed. The report concludes
with recommendations
on how
ICT, ODL and OER can be harnessed to establish and maintain
AHERS
.

2.1

O
verview of ICT, OD
L
,

and OER

The past 15 years ha
s

seen rapid development in Information and Communication Technology (ICT),
and an accompanying explosion of ICT
-
related activity in the higher education sector, as higher
education institutions and national systems deal with

the challenge of how best to deploy the
potential of ICT to the benefit of students, academics, and countries. Increasingly, investment in ICT
is being seen by higher education institutions as a necessary part of establishing their competitive
advantage,
because it is attractive to students and because governments, parents, employers, and
other key funders of higher education regard it as essential.


Since the emergence of ICT, the dominant focus in higher education has been on educational
applications of
ICT (often described as e
-
learning)
. This is

partly because of the exciting array of
educational possibilities created by new technologies, but also because the educational benefits of
technology have been so strongly advocated in the marketing campaigns o
f technology companies
.
An additional reason for this focus on the educational applications of ICT has been that
much of the
exploration of potential applications of ICT has been driven by individual academics or departments.
While this has helped to devel
op much greater knowledge about potential educational applications
of technology, thinking about ICT to support teaching and learning in isolation is a false starting



16
Mohamedbhai, G. (2011). Lessons from Europe: Towards an African Higher Education and Research Space. Retrieved
from
http://www.insidehighered.com/layout/set/popup/blogs/the_world_view/lessons_from_europe_towards_an_african_hig
her_education_and_research_space
.

17

ADEA Working Group on
Higher Education.

(2011).

Creating an African Higher Education and Research Space: Concept
Note
. Retrieved from
http://www.scidev.net/uploads/File/Final_AHERS_Concept_Note_English.doc

31

point, as it generally assumes effective underlying systems that manage and administer th
at
education.

Thus, ICT in higher education also needs to focus on the use of ICT for management and
administration as well as for other functions such as research purposes.


ICT has
also
created a revolution in open and distance learning (ODL), offering new and more flexible
learning opportunities.
It
provide
s

the tools needed to extend basic education to underserved
geographical regions and groups of students, and ha
s

the potential to emp
ower teachers and
learners through vastly improved access to information.

The concept of ODL is a combination of the
concept of open learning with that of distance education. Open learning is an approach to learning
that allows learners
flexibility
and
cho
ice
over what, when, at what pace, where, and how they learn.
Distance education is characterized by separation of learners and teachers by
geographical distance

and
time
. Open learning
is very often, but not necessarily always, provided using
distance edu
cation

methods
.
18



The above explanation is similar to that of UNESCO, which describes ODL as approaches that provide
education in a context that frees learners from the constraints of time and location during access to
this education. Learners can choose
when and how they want to study, wherever they are. Learners
can be taught by
lecturers

who are geographically removed from them, and technology can be used
to support such learning.
19


The Commonwealth of Learning (2005) highlight that two factors characte
rize ODL: its philosophy
and its use of technology:

Most ODL systems have a
philosophy
that aims to:



R
emove barriers to education
;

and



A
llow students to study what they want, when they want and where they want.

In short, ODL is about increasing educational

access
and increasing educational
choice
.


ODL systems typically use
technology
to mediate learning, for example:



P
rinted workbooks



A
udio cassettes



R
adio



T
he web.
20

Thus
,

ODL is both a philosophy of and an approach to education provision. It also is generally a term
used to describe learning that uses ICT to provide or enhance learning.


There is no
single
system for providing ODL, and therefore a wide variety of courses a
re described as
‘open learning’ or as ‘distance learning’. Examples of ODL systems are:

1)

Correspondence courses where students study for professional qualification and degrees;

2)

Open learning systems using workbooks, study centres, and online conferencing to

enable
working adults to gain school
-
leaving qualifications;

3)

Web
-
based courses used to update technical staff in the workplace; and

4)

Distance education courses to upgrade classroom teachers without their having to leave their
classrooms.
21




18

About e
-
learning. Blog post Monday, October 15, 2007. Retrieved from
http://about
-
elearning.blogspot.com/2007/10/open
-
vs
-
distance
-
learning
-
is
-
there.html


19

UNESCO. Education quality and mobility. What is open and distance lear
ning (ODL)? Retrieved from
http://portal.unesco.org/education/en/ev.php
-
URL_ID=22329&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html


20

Commonwealth of Lear
ning. (2005).
Creating Learning Materials for Open and Distance Learning: A Handbook for
Authors
a
nd Instructional Designers. The Commonwealth of Learning: Vancouver

21

Commonwealth of Learning. (2005).
Creating Learning Materials for Open and Distance Lear
ning: A Handbook for
Authors
a
nd Instructional Designers. The Commonwealth of Learning: Vancouver

32

ODL is used for a

variety of purposes, ranging from primary education to post
-
secondary school
study, and for professional development.
It is important to note that although technology plays a
key role in the delivery of ODL, the focus is not on the technology of delivery,

but rather on
instructional outcomes.


Another significant trend initiated by the explosion of ICT is
a
shift in the conception and value of
content. Historically learning


in education institutions, the workplace,
and
society at large


has
relied on pr
inted materials to deliver a content
-
rich product. The advent of ICT and its associated
rapid and cost
-
effective publishing opportunities means that this is no longer the case. Content
-
rich
materials are no longer static nor
are they
the exclusive domain o
f publishing companies. This frees
all citizens


but particularly those in education


to author and publish learning materials in
electronic formats. Content itself can be dynamically updated and need no longer be the preserve of
single authoring team
s
.
Rather than the value being in the content itself, value is created in services
that package and rapidly publish content that is both current and tailored for a myriad of audiences
and purposes.


This trend is clearly seen in the emerging concept of Open
Education Resources (OER). In a nutshell,
the concept of OERs describes educational resources that are freely available for use by educators
and learners, without an accompanying need to pay royalties or licence fees. OER refers to:

E
ducational resources (
including curriculum maps, course materials, textbooks, streaming
videos, multimedia applications, podcasts, and any other materials that have been designed
for use in teaching and learning) that are openly available for use by educators and students,
with
out an accompanying need to pay royalties or licence fees.
22


Although there is a clear connection between issues pertaining to ICT, ODL, and OER, this report
focuses separately on each, describing current practices in Africa and using this to highlight som
e of
the key opportunities arising from use of each. It also describes challenges associated with each
area. With this background, the report then presents a series of guidelines and recommendations
targeted specifically at the AHERS.







22

Butcher, N.

(2011). A Basic Guide to Open Educational Resources (OER). UNESCO and Commonwealth of Learning.
Retrieved from
http://www.col.org/resources/publications/Pages/detail.aspx?PID=357

33

3

ICT and
H
igher
Education

3.1

Introduction

ICT refers to

technology that is used in the manipulation, storage, and conveyance of data through
electronic means.
23

ICT is considered a critical tool in preparing students with the required skills for
the global workplace.
It

is re
garded as an engine for growth and tool for empowerment, with
profound implications for education and socio
-
economic development.
24

T
he potential of ICT to
tackle some of the socio
-
economic challenges facing Africa, and thereby impact on development,
has le
d many countries to invest heavily in ICT, placing it at the centre of their development
strategies, particularly in higher education.
25


Many countries in Africa and elsewhere
are embracing a vision for
the
development of Knowledge
Societ
ies
, and

adopting policies and strategies to encourage this development. Higher education is of
vital importance in the
K
nowledge
S
ociety, as a source of basic skills, as a foundation for
development of new knowledge and innovation, and as an engine for socio
-
econo
mic development.
Higher education is, therefore, a critical requirement in creating knowledge societies that can
stimulate development, economic growth, and prosperity.
26

It is not only the means by which
individuals become skilled participants in society a
nd the economy, but also a key driver
in
expanding ICT usage.
27

This suggests that ICT plays a key role in facilitating education development.


If
universities
are to harness ICT effectively to build knowledge societies, the implications are that
there will

be changing skills requirements for students, as well as changing roles for educators.
The
pursuit of knowledge requires understanding of where it is located, who has access to it, and why.
This requires an important set of social skills or ‘relationship
capital’, which has become important in
employment contexts.
T
he growing importance of ICT has placed increasing emphasis on the need to
ensure that
students
are information literate (including having higher order skills). Likewise,
universities are faced
with a need to provide formal instruction in information, visual, and
technological literacy, as well as in how to create meaningful content with today’s tools. This
requires higher education institutions to develop and establish methods for teaching and e
v
aluating
these critical literacies
.


ICT use in higher education and development is not simply about teaching ‘ICT literacy’


i.e. learning
to operate the technology


but also about building higher
-
order skills, such as knowing and
understanding what i
t means to live in a digitized and networked society and use digital technology
in everyday life. This includes understanding how ICT applications and services function, as well as
knowing where to search for certain information, how to process and evaluat
e information, and how
to assess the reliability and trustworthiness of multiple sources of information (online and offline).
Critically, ICT is valuable only as a
means

to achieve genuine knowledge societies. The growth of ICT



23

OpenLearn.
(no date).
ICTs

in everyday life. Retrieved from

http://labspace.open.ac.uk/mod/resource/view
.php?id=371982

24

Butcher
, N. (2010) ICT, Education, Develo
pment and the Knowledge Society
,
p.5
.

R
etrieved from
http://www.gesci.org/
assets/files/ICT,%20Education,%20Development,%20and%20the%20Knowledge%20Society(1).pdf

25

Butcher, N. (2010) ICT, Education, Develo
pment and the Knowledge Society
,
p.9
.

R
etrieved from
http://www.gesci.org/assets/files/ICT,%20Education,%20Development,%20and%20the%20Knowledge%20Society(1).pdf

26

Butcher, N. (2010) ICT, Education, Develo
pment and the Knowledge Society
,
p.6.

R
etrieved from
http://www.gesci.org/assets/files/ICT,%20Education,%20Development,%20and%20the%20Knowledge%20Society(1).pdf

27

UNESCO Asia and Pacific

Regional Bureau for Education (2004) Guidebook 1
-

ICTs in Education and Schoolnets.
Retrieved from
http://www.unescobkk.org/fileadmin/user_upload/ict/e
-
books/SchoolNetKit/guidebook1.pdf

34

networks alone will not
build a knowledge society.
28

Thus, ICT is a
facilitator

for major education and
development reforms, but not a sufficient condition.


A UNESCO report supports the view of ICT as a facilitator in education and argues for its growth in
education systems as

k
nowledge
-
society attributes in students, including higher order thinking
skills, lifelong learning habits, and the ability to think critically, communicate, and collaborate, as
well as to access, evaluate, and synthesize information


develop.

The report go
es on to note that ICT
can improve the learning environment through enabling greater access to information, resources,
expertise and additional knowledge.
29

This improved access to information is enabled through a
grow
ing ICT environment in Africa.
A recent

World Bank report highlights that access to ICT across
the continent has improved
,

and the costs associated with access
to
ICT are
reducing
as more and
more telecommunications markets are liberalizing

and as the cost of devices is declining
.
30

This has
imp
ortant ramifications for extending ICT into
African
higher education

institutions
.


ICT integration into higher education can result in improved service delivery, curriculum changes, or
new quality assurance and production processes and a movement towards
learner
-
centred
philosophies.
31

An ICT
-
enable
d

learning environment generally mean
s

a greater use of desktop and
laptop computers, learning management systems, software, interactive whiteboards, digital
cameras, mobile and wireless tools


such as

mobile ph
ones, and electronic communication tools,
including email, discussion boards, chat facilities and video conferencing.

Such an environment,
then, clear
ly assumes connectivity to the I
nternet.
32


3.2

ICT in Education Policies in Africa

Internationally, the need
to provide quality education for all learners has motivated countries to
develop plans focused on the use of ICT for teaching and learning. The drive to promote ICT in
education has typically been aligned with broader social and economic goals. In particul
ar, visions of
how ICT in education can lead to participation in a global knowledge economy and how ICT will
improve country economies are explicated in ICT policies.
33


In Africa, there is growing recognition by national, regional, and continental bodies o
f the role of ICT
for socio
-
economic development. Evidence of this includes the many countries that have focused
attention on developing national ICT policies and National Information and Communication
Infrastructure Plans to support their socio
-
economic d
evelopment efforts and ICT in education
policies. There has also been significant growth of continental and regional strategies to create
knowledge societies. The Association of Africa Universities
(AAU)
considers the development and use
of ICT in higher e
ducation to be important in
closing
gaps between African and the
rest of the
world
in knowledge, technology
,

and the economy. The AAU, along with the Inter
-
University Council for



28

UNESCO. (2005). Towards Knowledge Societies. Paris: UNESCO

29

UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education
.

(2004) Guidebook 1
-

ICTs in Education and Schoolnets.
Retrieved from:
http://www.unescobkk.org/fileadmin/user_upload/ict/e
-
books/SchoolNetKit/guidebook1.pdf

30

Williams, M.D.J., Mayer, R., and Minges, M. (2011). Africa’s ICT Infrastructure Building on the
Mobile Revolution. World
Bank: Washington. Retrieved from
http://siteresources.worldbank.org/INFORMATIONANDCOMMUNICATIONANDTECHNOLOGIES/Resources/AfricasICTInfrast
ructure_Building_on_MobileRevolution_2011.pdf

31

UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for E
ducation
.

(2004)
.

Guidebook 1
-

ICTs in Education and Schoolnets.
Retrieved from
http://www.unescobkk.org/fileadmin/user_upload/ict/e
-
books/SchoolNetKit/
guidebook1.pdf

32

Butcher, N. (2010) ICT, Education, Develo
pment and the Knowledge Society.

R
etrieved from
http://www.gesci.org/assets/files/ICT,%20Education,%20Development,%20and%20the%20Knowledge%20Society(1).pdf

33

Adam, L., Butcher, N., Tusubira, F.F.T., and Sibthorpe, C. (2011). Transformation
-
Ready: The strategic application of
information and communicatio
n technologies in Africa
-

Education Sector Study. Prepared for the African Development
Bank, the World Bank and the African Union.

35

East Africa

(IUECA)
, has played a fundamental role in assisting national gove
rnments to draw an
explicit role for institutions of higher education

within the policies and strategies aimed at creating
knowledge societies
.
34

The link with higher education in these initiatives is often present
,

and can be
seen at the continental, regio
nal,
and
national levels and with international partner institutions.


The African Union, in its
Second Decade of Education for Africa (2006
-
2015): Plan of Action
,
recognizes that education, and in particular, higher education is a critical sector, the per
formance of
which directly affects and even determines the quality and magnitude of Africa’s development.

The
Plan of Action
specifically

promotes use of ICT and encourages use of e
-
learning in its Matrix of
Activities for
advancing Higher Education. In ad
dition
, the use of ICT is also encouraged for the
development of curriculum and teaching materials
:

For Africa to entrench a culture of science, technology, research and innovation in its people,
the teaching of science and technology must be reformed at a
ll levels, with a special focus on
the use of ICTs.
35

Review the curriculum of literacy programmes, vocational training etc. To embrace modern
technology, ICT, Open and Distance learning methods.
36


The African Union also developed a Reference Framework for Harmonisation of Telecommunication
and ICT Policies and Regulations in 2008. The
F
ramework seeks to promote integration of ICT policies
amongst member states
by
advocating for the liberalization an
d (in many cases) priv
a
ti
z
ation of
telecommunications markets, committing to universal access, and development of national ICT
policies and action plans.
37

Engaging with institutions of higher education
appears to be an

aspect
of
this reference framework

th
rough its
allusion
to
the need to
establish training institutions for ICT
.


Within
these key
continental
framework
s
, there are several other policy
and related
initiatives,
example
s

of which are provided below:



The Africa EU
-
P8 partnership
,

which brings to
gether representatives from the African Union and
the
European Union (
EU
)
,

has the following priority area with regard to ICT: ‘support the
development of an inclusive information society in Africa, with the goal of bridging the digital
divide and to enhan
ce the use of ICT as key enablers for poverty reduction, growth, and
socioeconomic development’.
38

Here, African institutions of higher education have benefited
directly through assistance in establishing research and education networks that link into
Europ
ean high speed digital networks such as
the Gigabit European Advanced Network
Technology (
GÉANT
)
. Simply increasing connectivity and access to the internet is a big step for
many African institutions of higher education and means greater access to
information for
students and researcher.




The African Information Society Initiative (AISI) has, as its main objective, to support and
accelerate socio
-
economic development across the region.
39

Education and building ICT



34

Farrell, G., and Isaacs, S. (2007). Survey of ICT and Education in Africa: A Summary Report, Based on

53 Country Surveys
.
Washington, DC:
info
Dev / World Bank. Retrieved from
http://www.infodev.org/en/Publication.353.html


35

African Union. (2006). Second Decade of Education for Africa (2006
-
2015) Plan of Action

revised August 2006.

p.11
.
Retrieved from
http://www.nepad.org/system/files/Second%20Decade%20of%20Education%202006
-
2015.pdf

36

African Union. (2006). Secon
d Decade of Education for Africa (2006
-
2015) Plan of Action

revised August 2006.
p.15
.
Retrieved from
http://www.nepad.org/system/files/Second%20Decade%20of%
20Education%202006
-
2015.pdf

37

African Union. (2008). Reference Framework for Harmonisation of Telecommunication and ICT Policies and Regulations.
Retrieved from
http://www.itu.int/ITU
-
D/projects/ITU_EC_ACP/hipssa/docs/presentations/AUC%20
-
%20Z.%20Bonkoungou%20
-
%20Reference%20Framework%20for%20Harmonization%20of%20ICT
%20Policies%20EN.pdf


38

Africa and Europe in Partnership. (no date). Science, Information Society and Space
. Retrieved from

http://www.africa
-
eu
-
partnershi
p.org/sites/default/files/science_roadmap_final_1.pdf


39

African Union and Economic Commission for Africa. (2005). African Regional Action Plan for the Knowledge Economy
Framework
.
World Summit on the Information Society Bamako Bureau.

Retrieved from
http://www.uneca.org/aisi/docs/arapke%20version%20of%20september%202005.pdf


36

infrastructure in the education
sector is a central pillar of this initiative.

AISI has assisted 28
African countries
to build
their national information and communications infrastructure, has
undertaken capacity building program
me
s for the use of ICT in education, and launched the
SCAN
-
ICT project
,

which seeks to measure the impact of ICT on people’s lives.
40




Southern African development Community (SADC) Member States have acknowledged the
importance of ICT in meeting the challenges posed by globalization, facilitating the regional
integ
ration agenda, and enhancing the socioeconomic development prospects of the Region.
Members have agreed on the need to develop an all
-
inclusive, balanced, and socially equitable
information and knowledge
-
based society, which is founded on coordinated natio
nal strategies
to integrate ICT into regional development policies effectively.
41




The Regional ICT Support Programme (RICTSP) is a development framework between: Common
Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the East African Community (EAC), the
Inter
-
Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD), and the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC). The
primary objective of RICTSP is to ‘contribute to the regional integration agenda through an
effective and efficient ICT environment which will reduce the costs
of trade and investment and
thereby stimulate economic growth and reduce poverty. The purpose is to achieve a reduction in
the digital divide by removing some of the constraints to the efficient use of ICT’.
42




The
EAC
has developed a number of policy initi
atives to facilitate ICT development in the region,
including
: the Guidelines on Interconnection and access for telecommunications networks and
services within the East African Community in 2008; a study of policy harmoni
z
ation for
the
EAC
in 2009; and a s
tudy of regulatory harmonization for the EAC, also in 2009.
43

Institutions of
higher education are referenced in these documents as integral to the development and
integration of ICT into EAC member state economies.




The Economic Community of Western Africa
n States (ECOWAS) developed the Supplementary
Act A/SA.1/01/07 on the harmonization of policies and regulatory framework for the ICT sector
in 2007.
44

In addition to encouraging member states to work together in
advancing
ICT

development
,
ECOWAS has also so
ught to promote
collaboration and coordination between
institutions of higher education
in the region
.




In 2008, the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) developed six
directives on ICT policy harmoni
z
ation, universal service, interconne
ction, tariffs and data
protection.
45

By
implementing these six directives
, the environment for investing and engaging
with ICT in Higher Education becom
es more stable and affordable. Furthermore
, a context is
created where research and education networks ca
n be established between institutions in the
CEMAC region

building ICT capacity and sharing best practice.





40

United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. (no date). Harnessing Information for Development. Retrieved from
http://www.uneca.org/aisi/


41

Southern African Development Community Regional Indicative Strategic D
evelopment Plan (no date). Retrieved from:
http://www.sadc.int/attachment/download/file/74


42

COMESA
.

Regional ICT Support Programme. Retrieved from
http://comesa.assure.danishictmanagement.dk/


43

Research ICT Africa. (2010). Comparative ICT Sector Performance Review 2009/2010. .

Retrieved
from
http://www.researchictafrica.net/publications/Policy_Paper_Series_Towards_Evidence
-
based_ICT_Policy_and_Regulation_
-
_Volume_2/Vol_2_Pa
per_5_
-
_Comparative_ICT_Sector_Performance_Review_2009_2010.pdf


44

Ibid.

45

Ibid.

37



In 2009, the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS)
produced
a set of
recommendations to develop a regional framework for harmoni
z
ing

national policies and
regulations

pertaining to ICT
.
46

Undertaking this initiative improves the context for fostering
collaboration and cooperation amongst institutions of higher education in the region.


At the
national
level,
several countries have devel
oped policies
that
cover
use of ICT in higher
education across Africa.

For example, i
n Kenya
, integrating ICT

into tertiary education is a key
priority of the National ICT Policy for Education and Training.
47

In addition
, the Strategic Plan 2008
-
2012 advoca
tes increasing capacity in monitoring and evaluation and use of ICT, as well as
identifying the gaps in ICT.
48

The Strategic Plan also lays out a number of goals related to improving
infrastructure and support for ICTs in higher education, collaboration wit
h national and international
partners, and improving the policy and regulatory environment to be supportive of ICT
development
.
49

However,
problems persist with inadequate budget allocations
,

while
a
perceived
lack of consultation

with relevant stakeholders

has created tension and problems for
implementation of these objectives.
50



In Egypt,
the
Egyptian Information Society Initiative

intends to exploit e
-
learning applications to
spread knowledge and information using electronic means through the Internet. The Egypt
Education Initiative’s objective is to improve education in Egypt through the effective use of ICT.
51



In Nigeria, the Ed
ucation Roadmap seeks to determine where and how to tackle pressing problems
such as ICT in higher education.
52

It emphasiz
es the need to improve ICT infrastructure, and develop
and use e
-
learning tools. Early in 2012, the government released a draft of its

newly formulated
National ICT Policy. This policy is meant to consolidate and harmonize different policies and practices
for ICT across the various sectors of the Nigerian economy. The process of its development resulted
in the establishment of the Minist
ry of Communications Technology and the ICT Development
Agency. The Policy gives specific attention to tertiary education
by
calling to develop ICT curricula,
promote e
-
learning and distance education
,

and integrate ICT training in educational institutions
.
53


In Rwanda, the Higher Education Policy 2008 is considered integral to the Economic and Poverty
Reduction Strategy, Vision 2020, National Investment Strategy, The National Science, Technology,
Research and Innovation Strategy and the Integrated ICT
-
led
Socio Economic Development Policy.



46

Ibid. .

47

Bon, A. (2010). Information and Communication Technologies in Tertiary Education in Sub
-
Saharan Africa.
In
Teferra, D
and Greijn, H.(eds). )Higher Education and Globalization
Challenges, Threats and Opportunities for Africa. Maastricht
University Centre for International Cooperation in Academic Development (MUNDO), Maastricht, the Netherlands, and
International

Network for Higher Education in Africa (INHEA), Center for International Higher Education (CIHE), Boston
College, USA.

48

Republic of Kenya.

(2008). Strategic Plan 2008
-
2012: Quality Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation for
National Prosper
ity and Global Competitiveness. Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology.

Retrieved from
http://chet.org.za/manual/m
edia/files/chet_hernana_docs/Kenya/National/MHEST%20Strategic%20Plan%202008
-
2012.pdf


49

Republic of Kenya.

(2008). Strategic Plan 2008
-
2012: Quality Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation for
National Prosperity and Global Competitiveness. Mi
nistry of Higher Education, Science and Technology.

Retrieved
from
http://chet.org.za/manual/media/files/chet_hernana_docs/Kenya
/National/MHEST%20Strategic%20Plan%202008
-
2012.pdf


50

Bon, A. (2010). Information and Communication Technologies in Tertiary Education in Sub
-
Saharan Africa

In
Teferra, D
and Greijn, H.(eds). )Higher Education and Globalization
Challenges, Threats and Oppo
rtunities for Africa. Maastricht
University Centre for International Cooperation in Academic Development (MUNDO), Maastricht, the Netherlands, and
International Network for Higher Education in Africa (INHEA), Center for International Higher Education (CIHE
), Boston
College, USA.

51

Czerniewicz, L. (ed). 2007. Report on Higher Education ICTs and e
-
Learning in Egypt, p.4. Cape Town: CET

52
Government of Nigeria.

(2009). Roadmap for the Nigerian Education Sector. Consultative Draft April 2009.

53

Government of Nig
eria. (2012). National ICT Policy.
Retrieved from
http://www.commtech.gov.ng/downloads/National_ICT_Policy_DRAFT_090112.pdf


38

The policy focuses on a number of
issues,
including use of ICT in learning institutions
,

and focuses on
the ability to create greater access to information and communication and use of ICT as
an
alternative channel of edu
cation provision through e
-
learning.
54

The Vision 2020 documents calls for
greater investment in ICT skills infrastructure
,

as
this
is viewed as integral to promoting Rwanda as a
science and technology hub in Africa.
55

The Government has embarked on a number

of education
reforms to promote basic education and education for all
,

but the high cost of setting up and
maintaining infrastructure and the high prices for Internet access have slowed implementation of
these
technology plans. However, government has sta
rted reforms in ICT and a number of
infrastructure projects
are
in the pipeline to improve connectivity.
56


Uganda adopted the Quality Assurance Programme in 2006, which focuses on higher education. The
programme promises to increase budget allocations for
higher education to build and enhance
institutional infrastructure, with an emphasis on learning spaces and ICT. This appears to
compl
e
ment the government
-
adopted E
-
Government Strategic Framework
,

which created a central
Ministry for ICT and sought to prov
ide political and technical leadership for ICT across all levels of
government, including education.
57



Mauritius is arguably the most advanced African nation with respect to ICT in policy.
T
he Education
and Human Resources Strategy Plan 2008
-
2020
emphasizes ICT through committing to consolidate
and upgrade the ICT infrastructure and capability to meet the challenge of making ICT the fifth pillar
of the Mauritian economy.
58

In addition, the National Strategic Plan for Education and Training 2008
-
2020

commits to making
large

investments in tertiary education.
Furthermore
, the private sector has
invested in developing a modern and sophisticated ICT infrastructure for
the
tertiary education
sector

by
establishing a local backbone and
part
ially funding a
submarine fibre
-
optic cable
connecting the country to Asia, Europe
,

and continental Africa
.
59


The Ghana Education Strategic Plan (ESP) 2010
-
2020
prioritizes
ICT
in
higher education

by making it
one of the
plan’s
six areas of focus. This is further reinforc
ed by the
Ghan
ai
an

ICT Policy that
has an

e
-
education sub
-
plan. This embodies a programme of deployment,
use,
and exploitation of ICT

within the education system. However, ICT usage continues to be a problem in Ghana with only a
few of the 46 institutions
of higher education offering Bachelors in Infor
matics or appearing to have
ICT

integrated into the teaching, learning and research environment.
In addition,
access to sufficient
network facilities, ICT tools
,

and e
-
learning options continues to be a proble
m.
60






54
Republic of Rwanda.

(2008). Higher Educa
tion Policy. Ministry of Education

55

Republic of Rwanda. (2000). Rwanda Vision 2020.
Retrieved from
http://www.gesci.org/assets/files/Rwanda_Vision_2020.pdf


56

Isaacs, S. (2011
) .
Case Study: Rwanda. In Transforming Education: The Power of ICT Policies. UNESCO, Paris
. Retrieved
from
http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0021/002118/211842e.pdf


57

57

Ngugi, C. (ed).
(2007). ICTs and higher education in Africa. Cape Town: Centre for Educat
ional Technology.

58
Republic of Mauritius (2008). Draft Education and Human Resources Strategy Plan 2008
-
2020. Ministry of Education,
Culture and Human Resources.

Retrieved from

http://chet.org.za/manual/media/files/chet_hernana_docs/Mauritius/National/DRAFT%20EDUCATION%20and%20HR%20
ST
RATEGY%20PLAN%202008
-
2020.pdf


59

Bon, A. (2010). Information and Communication Technologies in Tertiary Education in Sub
-
Saharan Africa.
In
Teferra, D
and Greijn, H.(eds). )Higher Education and Globalization
Challenges, Threats and Opportunities for
Africa. Maastricht
University Centre for International Cooperation in Academic Development (MUNDO), Maastricht, the Netherlands, and
International Network for Higher Education in Africa (INHEA), Center for International Higher Education (CIHE), Boston
Coll
ege, USA.

60

Bon, A. (2010). Information and Communication Technologies in Tertiary Education in Sub
-
Saharan Africa.
In
Teferra, D
and Greijn, H.(eds). )Higher Education and Globalization
Challenges, Threats and Opportunities for Africa. Maastricht
Universi
ty Centre for International Cooperation in Academic Development (MUNDO), Maastricht, the Netherlands, and
International Network for Higher Education in Africa (INHEA), Center for International Higher Education (CIHE), Boston
College, USA.

39

Malawi

continues to struggle with integrating
ICT in
to

higher
education
, but

action is being taken to
rectify this through the ICT4dev policy and the National Education Sector Plan 2008
-
2013.
61

The
ICT4dev Policy prioritizes modernizing

infrastructure
, improving training
,

and promoting ICT literacy
in the education sector as a whole.
62

T
he National Education Sector Plan
identifies
strength
en
ing
of
ICT training as
a key
part of improving the quality and relevance of Higher Education in the country.
63

Mala
wi is also making efforts to develop a Malawian Research and Education Ne
twork, and has
access to a fibre
-
optic infrastructure. This will markedly improve internet connections for
the
Mala
wian tertiary education sector.


Tanzania developed the Education an
d Training Sector Development Programme 2008
-
2017
,

which
commits the government to investing in ICT development in tertiary education. A Tanzanian
Education and Research Network (TERNET) is currently under development
,

and will be part of the
larger Ubuntu
Net Alliance. Since 2007
,

ICT infrastructure has been a priority for the government.
Emphasis has been placed on providing high bandwidth internet
to
higher education institutions, as
well as establishing a
satellite

connection in 2008. Government ICT poli
cies were developed in
ed
ucation
, and
,

i
n higher education

specifically
, government goals include
:

establishing an education
network (TE
R
NET); creat
ing

e
-
learning and ICT curriculum materials; use of ICT in classrooms; and
improve
d

ICT infrastructure. Tanz
ania also has an Institutional Transformation Programme
,

which
seeks to restructure the organization and teaching methods in higher education towards greater use
of e
-
learning. However, little evidence is available to determine if this has occurred and cha
llenges
remain such as the availability of skilled teachers and infrastructure.
64


Namibia has placed a great deal of emphasis recently on ICT policy. In
its
polic
ies
, the government
draws an explicit connection between ICT integration into education and th
e development of a
knowledge based economy.
In addition
, harnessing ICT is viewed as an important way to improve
quality in the education sector. The policy identifies a staff training component
,

which encompasses
all people involved in the education system
including

teachers, lecturers, principals, administrative
staff and other stakeholders. Teachers and
l
ecturers are targeted for pre
-
service and in
-
service
training to build their confidence in I
CT, including communicating via email

and

understanding the
value of integrating ICT in learning and teaching. The Namibian policy emphasizes pedagogical and
curriculum reform, through the integration of ICT into educational environments. It suggests that
the
curriculum should promote skills of accessing, managing, and processing information, as well as
promot
ing

col
laborative work skills, problem
-
solving, and learning The policy identifies three
elements in
the role of ICT in the curriculum: 1) curriculum f
or ICT skills and knowledge
,

which is
referred to as ICT literacy skills; 2) ICT as a subject, which implies the study of computer studies and
information technology geared towards more advanced technical skill development; and 3)
Curriculum for the use of

ICT within subjects, which is referred to as cross
-
curricula ICT. Currently,
the Government of Namibia is making plans to lower the costs of bandwidth and
improve
accessibility

through establishing a direct link to the SAT3/WASC/SAFE Consortium which is a

submarine cable that originates in Portugal goes to South Africa and across the Indian Ocean to Asia
.
Namibia has many direct links to other neighbouring countries that provide the necessary Internet
capacity. A crucial component of Namibia’s ICT in educa
tion implementation framework is the



61

Bon, A. (2010).

Information and Communication Technologies in Tertiary Education in Sub
-
Saharan Africa.
In
Teferra, D
and Greijn, H.(eds). )Higher Education and Globalization
Challenges, Threats and Opportunities for Africa. Maastricht
University Centre for International

Cooperation in Academic Development (MUNDO), Maastricht, the Netherlands, and
International Network for Higher Education in Africa (INHEA), Center for International Higher Education (CIHE), Boston
College, USA.

62
ICT for Development.(2008).
Malawi ICT4D Na
tional Strategy. Retrieved from

http://d6.comminit.com/en/node/148481/307


63

Government of Malawi. (2009). Education Sector Implementation Plan.
Retrieved from
http://planipolis.iiep.unesco.org/upload/Malawi/Malawi_ESIP_FINAL.pdf


64

Ngugi, C. (ed).
(2007). ICTs and
Higher E
ducation in Africa. Cape Town: Centre for Educational
T
echnology.

40

establishment of the National Education Technology Service and Support Centre which is meant to
provide ICT support in all educational institutions and take oversight responsibility for sourcing,
refurbishing, installin
g and supporting ICT in these institutions
.
65


Ethiopia has integrated ICT
a
s an integral part of its development programmes.
T
he country still
needs to put

in place sufficient policies and regulatory instruments to

support the integration of ICT

into the e
ducation sector.
Nevertheless
, ICT is a component of the Sustainable Development and
Poverty Reduction Program (SDPRP). The most recent policy framework found is the Plan for
Accelerated and Sustainable Development to End Poverty (PASDEP)
,

which
r
an

betwee
n 2005 and
2010. This policy places ICT as a key element in the provision of education at all levels.
66

Ethiopian
universities are connected to an education and research network called
the Ethiopian Education and
Research Network (EthERNet)
. This network ha
s improved access and speed of the internet for
students and researchers in Ethiopia.
67


South Africa maintains a sophisticated and advanced environment for ICT in higher education

with

many higher education institutions maintain
ing

their own strategies for the inclusion of ICT into the
research and learning environment.
T
hese institutional strategies are guided by the Department of
Science and Technology Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2011
-
2016. This is a comprehensive plan
outlini
ng
how South Africa will reinforce building an innovation economy. ICT and higher education
are central pillars of this strategic framework
,

and particular emphasis is given to investing in cyber
-
infrastructure to promote research and development, investin
g in human capacity and skills in ICT
areas so that innovation and development can occur through funding fellowships and bursaries, and
the importation of skilled workers who can transfer knowledge in industry and institutions of higher
education.
68

In addi
tion, the
recently
-
released
Department of Higher Education Green Paper for Post
School Education and Training emphasizes improving access to ICT through enhancing infrastructure
and developing high quality learning resources that are based on open educatio
n resource models.
69

South African universities have come together to establish an
National Research and Education
Network (NREN)

called

the Tertiary Education and Research Network of South Africa

(
TENET
)
,

and
through this
have seen a real improvement in in
ternet accessibility and speed since connecting to
the SEACOM cable. TENET is part of the Ubuntu Alliance
,

and connects into the European research
and e
ducation network GÉANT.





65

Isaacs, S. (2011). Case St
udy: Namibia.
In
Transforming Education: The Power of ICT Policies. UNESCO
, Paris. Retrieved
from
http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0021/002118/211842e.pdf

.

66

Government of
Ethiopia. (2004). Plan for Accelerated and Sustainable Development to End Poverty.

Retrieved from
http://www.imf.org/external/np/prsp/2002/eth/01/073102.pdf

67

Research ICT Africa. (2010). Ethiopia ICT Sector Performance Review 2009/2010.
Retrieved from
http://www.researchictafrica.net/publications/Policy_Paper_Series_Towards_Evidence
-
based_ICT_Policy_and_Regulation_
-
_Volume_2/Vol%202%20Paper%209%20
-
%20Ethiopia%20ICT%20Sector%20Performance%2
0Review%202010.pdf


68

Republic of South Africa. (2011). Department of Science and Technology Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2011
-
2016.
Retrieved from
ht
tp://www.dst.gov.za/publications
-
policies/strategies
-
reports/DST_STRAT_PLAN_2011.pdf


69

Republic of South Africa. (2012)
.
Green Paper on Post
-
School Education and Training. Department of Higher Education.

Retrieved from
http://www.agriseta.co.za/downloads/Green_Paper_PDF_Final.pdf


41

The above examples provide an indication of the range of
approaches to ICT Inte
gration in Higher Education and are
illustrative of the
myriad

of initiatives that exist. They
highlight
the existence of numerous and varied ICT
policy