Scholars push for digital literacy in Africa

KIGALI, Sept. 27
(Xinhua) – African economies need to strengthen efforts to accelerate digital
literacy across the continent in order to achieve full transition to
knowledge-based society, scholars said Thursday.

They were speaking at
the opening of 13th International Conference and Exhibition on ICT for
Education, Training and Skills Development held in Kigali, capital of Rwanda.

The small central
African country hosts the forum from Sept. 26 to 28, which seeks to discuss key
issues affecting education, training, skills and technology in Africa.

African countries need
literacy skills to work, learn and communicate productively using the power of
technology to avoid global digital exclusion, said Ebenezer Malcalm, dean of
graduate school, Ghana Technology University College (GTUC).

Much emphasis should
be put in investing in required infrastructure that supports the development of
digital literacy skills across African economies, said Malcalm.

For Africa to achieve
knowledge-based economies, digital literacy has to be scaled up across all
communities most especially in rural settings, said Mmabaledi Kefilwe Seeletso,
lecturer in the department of educational management and leadership at Botswana
Open University,

“Teaching and
learning basic digital skills will encourage Africans most, especially the
youth to become more involved with the digital world,” she said.

Suleiman Adamu, head
of information communication technology unit of Sule Lamido University,
Nigeria, emphasized that digital literacy should top the development agenda of
African governments, the private sector and the civil society as part of
efforts to transition to knowledge-based society.

Technology adoption
and access is not enough to transform economies in Africa, he said, adding that
Africans needed to learn how to use digital technology, communication tools, or
networks to communicate and create information.

According to him,
institutions of learning in Africa have a key role in ensuring that people
receive digital literacy training they need.

The conference has
brought together more than 1,000 high-level policy and decision makers and
practitioners in the sectors of education and business from Africa and beyond.


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