In a move designed to provide African students with greater access to higher-education opportunities, the African Virtual University (AVU) is launching Open Distance and eLearning Centres in ten African countries over the next five months. They will be co-located in the following universities: Jimma University in Ethiopia, University of Nairobi in Kenya, Université d‘Antananarivo in Madagascar, Universidade Pedagógica in Mozambique, Université Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD) in Senegal, Kyambogo University in Uganda, University of Zambia, and the University of Zimbabwe. The centres are set up within the framework of the AVU Multinational Project funded by the African Development Bank.
Founded in 1997, the African Virtual University is a Pan-African intergovernmental organisation whose aim is significantly to increase access to quality higher education and training through the innovative use of information and communications technologies. It has awarded degrees to 40,000 students across Africa and, with locations in over thirty countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, is the Continent’s largest network of Open Distance and eLearning institutions. Its greatest asset is its ability to work across borders and languages in Anglophone, Francophone and Lusophone Africa. In 2009, the AVU trained 133 staff members from 24 universities in 17 countries to use eLearning methods in their curricula and in the management of distance learning programmes.