Former Rwandan Minister of Education, Prof Dr. Silas Lwakabamba has joined the Academic Advisory Board of online learning company, eLearnAfrica.
"The Advisory Board oversees the most important academic relationships of eLearnAfrica, including the Association of African Universities (AAU) and the Association of Arab Universities (AArU)," notes a statement from the company.
Lwakabamba said he is honoured by the opportunity, "The organisation is dedicated to providing solutions to the difficult issues faced by our universities. I am confident that our students will greatly benefit from the opportunity to study degree programs online. I am very excited to support this important work."
The eLearnAfrica online educational platform offers an array of opportunities to African students at every stage of higher education and career development. It is accessible through desk-tops, as well as mobile devices.
According to eLearnAfrica, Tanzanian-born Lwakabamba studied engineering at the University of Leeds in England, where he was awarded a Ph.D. in 1975. "He then returned to Tanzania, where he joined the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Dar es Salaam, attaining professorship in 1981, and later rising to the post of Dean of the Faculty.
"In 1997, he became the founding Rector of Rwanda's Kigali Institute of Science and Technology, and in 2006, he was appointed the Rector of the National University of Rwanda, the largest public institution of higher learning in the country", according to the company.
"He occupied this position until his appointment in February 2013 as Minister of Infrastructure in the Cabinet of the Rwandan government. He served as the Minister of Education of Rwanda from July 2014 until June 24, 2015, when he transitioned to become the Rector of Institute of Agriculture, Technology, and Education of Kibungo, Rwanda (INATEK)."
Early last year, eLearnAfrica entered into a partnership the AAU to provide eLearnAfrica's services to AAU member universities.
This agreement was intended to help African universities take advantage of the tools and delivery platform of the eLearnAfrica portal and mobile application for expanding educational opportunities.
The organisations sought to benefit approximately 10 million students across Africa.
In 2016, the company partnered with the Zambian Open University (ZAOU) with the expectation to double the number of students registering in 2017.
With digitalisation continuing to dominate discussion among businesses in Africa, the role of eLearning and skills development is gaining equal attention.
According to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), of all regions, sub-Saharan Africa has the highest rates of educational exclusion. Over one-fifth of children between the ages of about 6 and 11 are out of school, followed by one-third of youth between the ages of about 12 and 14.
Professor Johannes Cronje, Dean of Informatics and Design at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, is quoted as saying the sustainability of higher education in Africa is inextricably linked to freely accessible and education-focused online resources or open educational resources (OER).