A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed today between Dublin City University (DCU) and the Global eSchools and Communities Initiative (GeSCI) to launch a new ICT partnership so that senior government officials across Africa will be able to study for DCU post-graduate awards in the area of ICT and the knowledge society.
The MoU was signed in Nairobi today by Jerome Morrissey, who heads up the GeSCI, and in Dublin by Ciarán Ó Cuinn, who heads up external and strategic affairs at DCU.
GeSCI itself is an international non-profit organisation. It was set up by the United Nations taskforce on ICT in 2003 and works mainly with developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
The initiative with DCU is being supported by the African Union Commission and the Finnish Foreign Ministry. The African Leadership in ICT programme, according to DCU, will focus on professional development programmes for African leaders and key policy-makers. However, the university said that the broad partnership will eventually include science, technology and innovation programme and research initiatives.
Participants will also be able to continue their studies at master’s level and beyond.
Currently, the course is running in Kenya, Zambia, Tanzania, South Africa and Mauritius and has almost 100 participants. A further 200 participants from Malawi, Botswana, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Namibia and Mozambique will join the programme in October.
DCU anticipates that the programme will be offered throughout the entire African continent.
Dr Margaret Farren and Yvonne Crotty from the Centre of e-Innovation, Pedagogy and Workplace Learning and the School of Education Studies at DCU spearheaded the initiative in collaboration with Morrissey.
"This collaboration with DCU will give those government leaders who participate in the programme an internationally recognised university qualification as well as the practical knowledge underpinning policy and strategy development as African countries work towards becoming knowledge societies," said Morrissey today from Zambia.
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