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AfDB grants USD15m to AVU

The African Virtual University (AVU) has received a USD15.6 million grant from the African Development Bank.

AVU is an online tertiary education network that uses blended open distance and e-learning programmes to provide quality undergraduate and graduate education through established African universities.

Awarded the top prize for best emerging initiative by the US based, AVU has graduated more than 40,000 students across Africa and established the largest distance and e-Learning network in over 27 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2004, the African Development Bank provided USD7.3 million to AVU to create open, distance and e-Learning centers, establish connectivity in AVU partner institutions and develop teacher training programmes.

The ADF grant will finance the establishment of 12 new open distance and e-Learning centres. It will also upgrade 15 e-learning centres at the 27 AVU partner institutions across Africa, develop ICT capacity, enhance science and technology programmes, and train staff to develop various distance and e-learning courses. A key outcome of the project will be to increase the number of qualified female scientists in AVU partner institutions.

Agnes Soucat, the bank’s director for human development at the Development Bank, said: “One of our human development goals is to increase access to higher education through information communications technology (ICT) and help African institutions benefit from and contribute to the global production and distribution of knowledge.

“By helping to build the capacity of the African Virtual University, we are doing just that. The AfDB Group’s financial support, through this ADF grant, is consistent with the bank’s new model for education in Africa.”

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