17.07.2012 - Communication & Information Sector

1st planning meeting on the use of ICT to support the reform of higher education in the West African Economic and Monetary Union countries

CC-BY Hadjan Doucouré, Delegates during the 1st Planning Meeting

As part of the project to support the development of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for capacity building and implementation of reforms in Licence-Master-Doctorate (LMD) in institutions of higher education of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) countries, UNESCO organized the 1st planning meeting of key stakeholders at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France, from 4 to 6 July 2012.

Focused on the ICT capacity building component of the project, this event was aimed at building consensus amongst the project stakeholders on modalities and approaches for the project implementation and adopted country and institution-specific workplans.

The UEMOA member states are Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Guinea Bissau, Niger, Mali, Senegal, and Togo. The following pilot universities have been chosen by UEMOA for 2012-2013:

The UEMOA LMD ICT Project emerged from a cooperation plan initiated in 2006 jointly by UNESCO and the UEMOA, which aimed at developing the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to support the ongoing reform of higher education in the UEMOA member states, and to boost the ICT capacities of the West African universities.

The cooperation was formalized with an agreement signed on 11 February 2011 between the Director-General of UNESCO, Ms. Irina Bokova and Mr. Soumaïla Cissé, the President of the Commission of UEMOA.

The Project has adopted a three-pronged strategy:

  • Enhance the use of information and communication technology (ICT),
  • Establish and improve the interconnection between and within the universities and research centers; and
  • Ensure ownership and maximum involvement of key partners in higher education from UEMOA region during the implementation of the project.

In order to achieve the stipulated goals, the 1st planning meeting was organized to bring together senior officials from the pilot UEMOA universities including many Presidents, Rectors, Vice-rectors and Directors.

The meeting provided an opportunity for each of the participating universities to share the latest information on ongoing efforts in their countries toward LMD reform and express their specific needs.

During the 3 day meeting, several Intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations working in the UEMOA, Francophonie, and Africa region, also presented on their activities in the UEMOA region and noted their potential contributions to the project. These included:

UNESCO staff presented the findings of a comprehensive questionnaire survey of the pilot universities, and noted proposed interventions for each of the 7 components of the Project with expected deliverables. A suite of activities will be undertaken to implement the following Project components:

  • Open Education Resources (OER) and Elearning
  • Universities Web Portal
  • Credit Transfer
  • Virtual Libraries
  • Accessibility
  • Multilinguism
  • Information and digital literacy

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