9 January 2013

AfDB, a Knowledge Broker and Learning Hub for Africa

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The African Development Bank (AfDB) was showcased as the knowledge broker and the emerging learning hub for Africa at a recent international e-learning conference in Berlin.

The 2012 Online Educa Conference in Berlin was not just a conference, it was an event. Offering a unique environment for international networking, it is the place to discover and absorb some of the world's most innovative thinking about education and technology. The event attracts and brings together experts in the vanguard of technology-enhanced learning from around the world.

Participants forge essential cross-industry contacts and partnerships, thereby enhancing their knowledge and expertise.

Representing the Bank at the conference, the Bank's Chief Learning Officer Awuese Oku discussed the knowledge management and learning initiatives that the Bank has launched to ensure internal knowledge enhancement and capacity development in the regional member countries (RMCs). "The factors of production used to be land, labour and capital. In less than 50 years, knowledge has become the main factor of production and is gradually emerging as an international currency without borders," she said. "The survival of any organization or the sustainability of any country or continent beyond the 21st century will be based on the quality of knowledge deployment and management within and beyond its frontiers."

Based on this, Oku affirmed that the AfDB has designed and launched a robust Knowledge and Learning Management Platform (KLMP) which is universally accessible and operates in two major environments: an internal environment that serves staff and an external environment that serves all 54 of the Bank's RMCs. The platform has the following current functionalities: e-learning, virtual learning and blended learning; e-books, e-book summaries, journals, videos, courses, content, certifications; linkages to universities and other institutes of learning, as well as linkages to international libraries.

Soon-be-to-launched functionalities will include virtual and mobile learning enablers, with more functionalities as needed. The Bank's Chief Learning Officer also underscored that, in addition to the KLMP, the Bank is also laying a solid foundation for the deserved connections in capacity development of Africa. The formation of the internal knowledge network will harness the internal knowledge for external impact that will lead to the creation of a Global African Knowledge Management Network. The recent launch of the Bank's Knowledge and Capacity Development Week in November was also instrumental in creating the required linkages both regionally and internationally to ensure that the African Development Bank becomes the voice for knowledge management in Africa. Oku stated that the AfDB will "globalize" knowledge products to ensure they serve the needs of Africa.

The Bank Group is poised to play a leading role in this knowledge deployment and learning management. The launch of an e-learning platform which has been deployed to its RMCs and is also universally accessible is just a first step in accomplishing the dream of transforming Africa's capacity development landscape. "The Bank will continue to populate this platform with the relevant learning and training materials to enable enhanced capacity development in Africa," Oku told conference participants.

The AfDB was commended by conference participants for the implementation of such a robust knowledge and learning management platform that can easily connect with global institutes and universities and deploy the relevant knowledge to Africa. The Bank was further recognized for its leading and coordinating role in ensuring that knowledge management and learning address the developmental needs of the African continent.

Every year, Online Educa Berlin attracts over 2,000 participants from more than 100 countries worldwide, making it the most comprehensive annual meeting place for ICT-enhanced learning and training professionals.

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