eLearning Africa, Africa’s leading conference and exhibition on digital learning, education, training and skills development conference is set to kick off in Kigali on May 11. According to officials, the event will help Africa reflect on challenges facing education systems and provide sustainable solutions. The conference will be one of the continent’s first major global, in-person conferences since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. According to Dr Valentine Uwamariya, Minister of Education, eLearning Africa Conference is an opportune moment for Africa to reflect on challenges facing education systems and provide sustainable solutions by outstandingly stimulating African talents. “Rwanda is a resilient, forward-looking country with a vision of becoming a globally competitive knowledge-based economy. Embracing competitive technology-assisted learning is one of the key enablers towards improving quality of education and promoting independent and lifelong learning at all levels of education,” she said. “We have seen the vital significance of e-learning during Covid-19 pandemic as schools were forced to be temporarily closed. However, the pandemic has also revealed that science and technology provide sustainable solutions to mitigate its impacts not only in developing countries but the whole world.” Paula Ingabire, Rwanda’s Minister of ICT and Innovation said there is a need for greater mobilisation at all levels of Government and private sector organisations to develop impactful solutions that will ensure equitable and affordable access to broadband connectivity, in order to achieve the targets, set for 2025. The minister is also delighted that the first eLearning Africa conference after the pandemic will be held in Rwanda. “Africa has so much to do and so much to give. We are looking forward to welcoming everyone to Rwanda for this historic conference,” she said. Adding, that eLearning Africa and the opportunity it brings for dialogue between key stakeholders is so important. This conference and the ministerial roundtable taking place at it, will give us a chance to focus our attention on how we can all work together, as a continent and as a global community, to use technology-assisted learning to boost growth and bring lasting change and prosperity, the minister added. The theme for this year’s roundtable is “A New Purpose for Education” and it will consider the practical challenges facing African countries, the implications of a single market, and the contribution Africa can make to global learning and providing solutions to global problems. According to Rebecca Stromeyer, the founder of the conference, the event is attracting “huge” levels of interest and support. “People are delighted that we’re going ahead again. For our network of experts and professionals from all over the world, it’s going to be like a giant family gathering,” she said. “They’re all looking forward to seeing each other and to making new friends and contacts. And we’ve had an enormous amount of interest from the corporate sector, including some of the biggest names in global edTech. Africa is the place to be right now for investors in education and technology.” Stromeyer also noted that it has not been difficult to persuade people to come to the conference, in spite of their experience over the past two years. “There is a widespread awareness of the fact that Rwanda has coped really well with the pandemic. Our participants will be well looked after in a superb conference location and we’re looking forward to seeing them for what promises to be a very significant conference,” she said. eLearning Africa is accompanied by an exhibition, featuring products, services and courses offered by some of the world’s leading producers and providers. The conference itself offers a wide variety of opportunities for discussion, knowledge sharing and networking, in the form of plenary sessions, workshops, seminars and debates. It also hosts a ‘ministerial roundtable,’ at which ministers of ICT and education, together with officials and advisers discuss emerging themes with experts, academics and representatives of companies and organisations from around the world. The visit to the exhibition is free of charge and it will be open from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm on each day of the event (Wednesday, May 11 – Friday, May 13). Visitors need to be fully vaccinated and to present negative Covi-19 results.