MoU signed on digital literacy promotion in Africa
The Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA), the Didier Drogba Foundation (FDD) and the Ministry of National Education, Technical and Vocational Training (MENETFP) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a project on digital literacy promotion in Africa, named KALAAN.
The signing ceremony took place at the Ministry's premises in the presence of H.E. Ms. Kandia K. Camara, Minister for National Education, Technical and Vocational Training; Mr. Didier Drogba, President of the Didier Drogba Foundation; Mr. Albert Nsengiyumva, Executive Secretary of ADEA. Amongst the other participants in attendance were Mr. Yaya Toure, Manager of BYTE sarl; several senior officials of the ministry as well as representatives of ADEA, FDD and the media.
One of the objectives of the KALAAN project – beyond raising awareness among political authorities and the general public to make this initiative a priority in Africa – is to contribute to the literacy of more than one million people in Côte d'Ivoire in three years and ten million people in Africa over five years with a particular focus on women. The project will use the AmBC method for digital literacy developed for mobile phones by the Ivoirian company BYTE sarl.
"I am proud of this partnership and the idea is to reach 10 million young people in five years in Africa," said Didier Drogba.
Mr. Albert Nsengiyumva, Executive Secretary of ADEA, declared: "The Didier Drogba Foundation approached us for this project. The main goal is to be able to reach the maximum of African countries starting from Côte d'Ivoire. We had a meeting with the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) to discuss the details of this project. ADEA is ready to support this initiative with its partners because education is the key to develop each country."
Minister Kandia Camara, who really encouraged this project, also stressed the importance for women, men and young people – especially those who live in rural areas – of learning to read, write and calculate by using a smartphone. At the end of the ceremony, she thanked ADEA and the Didier Drogba Foundation for their support in the realization of this project as the entire Africa will be able to benefit from it.
The ceremony also served to remind that the Continental Education Strategy for Africa 2016-2025 (CESA 16-25) – developed to meet the ambitions of Agenda 2063 – proposes through its strategic objective 6 to "Launch global and regional campaigns on literacy across the continent to eradicate illiteracy." In addition, the Strategy calls for eight areas of action, among them "Revisiting and expanding existing literacy campaigns" and "Promoting the teaching of languages, social sciences, mathematics and the use of ICT in literacy programs". CESA 16-25 also highlights that "very few African countries launched massive literacy campaigns like Cuba, Nicaragua and other Asian countries in the 1960s and 1970s. On the other hand, Agenda 2030 repositioned literacy and emphasized that writing and numeracy skills are essential for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Lastly, the use of ICT is one of the emerging strategies for literacy that continues to be implemented in several countries. Mobile phone and tablet literacy have proven effective in numerous African countries to accommodate learners with mobility impairments who are not available to attend face-to-face classes.