AfDB grants $15.6m to African Virtual University for capacity building

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has approved a $15.6 million grant from its concessionary lending arm, the African Development Fund (ADF) to help strengthen the capacity of the African Virtual University (AVU).

Created in 1997 by the World Bank and based in Kenya, the 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.

“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,” said the AfDB in a statement December 21, 2011.

A key outcome of the project, the grantor said, will be to increase the number of qualified female scientists in AVU partner institutions.

“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,” Agnes Soucat, the Human Development Director at the AfDB is quoted as saying.

According to the AfDB, the 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. It has campuses or partner institutions in Anglophone, Francophone and Lusophone African countries.

Source: Ghana Business News – Ekow Quandzie – 1 Jan 2012