Digital disruption can facilitate the creation of the “University of Africa”

Building University of Africa - Leading with Digital
In most African countries education is a big deal right?  Billions of dollars invested in education on annually clearly shows that there is interest.  Education is also a priority in most countries’ national strategic documents,  however we are still faced with challenges in the educational sector.

The #feesMustFall movement in South Africa stirred up debates on inclusive education.  Across the continent educational quality remains a serious challenge.  Shortage of basic facilities and learning materials are order of the day.  Will digital innovation in the educational sector address some of these challenges? Not some but all, yes all. Do we need an institution that will embrace inclusive education.  Inclusive in this case is defined as accommodating everyone in-spite of their cultural, financial, geographical background.

South Africa, like most African countries, the policy makers have left a huge gap for innovation in the educational sector.  What policy makers and innovators must realise is that the both students and parents are getting smarter about looking for lower cost options, as well as attempting to look for education in other markets such as USA, through the use of technology.  

Digital disruption brings about possibilities for better access, quality and outcome of education in Africa.   We have also the potential to be disruptive on the low end of the educational markets by delivering the “open university”.  If universities in Africa can collaborate content through online mechanism, and form one African University, featuring start professors providing content using digital channels.  One might ask how this university be funded?  In a digital space, massive communities attract advertisers, which could lead to substantial revenue to maintain the platform.  This model will reduce larger investment required provide education.  Another funding opportunity will come through crowd-funding, as investors interested in bringing change in the society, come together to realise the dreams of Africans. This model will open true collaboration amongst African students, and ultimately bring unity. 

My challenge to innovators and policy makers is that we have the technology, all we need is to make this happen. It is now left up to you. 

Disruptive technology in education will truly enable the low cost delivery model of quality education, enable inclusive and improved collaboration.


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