Bakary Diallo has described at some length the African Virtual University initiative, a group of (mainly sub-Saharan) African nations who are widening access to university through open and distance learning. 53 partner institutions – mostly universities – are involved and approximately 43,000 students and academics have benefited from learning through AVU over the last 15 years. The project has established 10 centres for open and distance learning, developed 86 modules, and built a repository for course material in a number of different languages.
The use of open educational resources is crucial to our overall work. For example, the focus on math and science is very important for a continent like Africa. We need engineers and we need scientists. This is strategic for AVU, for the countries of Africa and for our donors. We set out to improve the quality of teaching and learning in the schools through the use of ICTs; increase the number of mathematics, science and ICT basic skills teachers; develop and promote research in teacher education to inform future curriculum reform; and establish and strengthen relevant partnerships with other teacher education initiatives in Africa.