#TeamAfrica were out in force in Nairobi today for the ICDL Africa Forum. The Forum is an opportunity to bringing together key stakeholders in the ICT sector, as well as Accredited Test Centre staff from across Kenya. Over 80 delegates were in attendance to hear updates on the ICDL programme from around the world, as well as the growth in Africa in the previous year. It is also a chance to look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead in the year to come and to discuss how best to work together to increase the level of digital literacy in Africa.
ICDL Foundation CEO, Mr. Damien O’Sullivan was the guest of honour, his first time attending the ICDL Africa Forum. Mr. O’Sullivan gave a presentation which focused on the mission of ICDL Foundation as a social enterprise. He then spoke about the Digital Divide, explaining the problem which exists in the workforce between the perceived skill level of employees compared to the reality, with research from Europe and Asia highlighting the skills gap which has been identified and how ICDL can and should fill that gap.
ICDL Africa General Manager, Mr. Séamus McGinley gave a presentation on the achievements of ICDL Africa in the previous year. In particular setting up the Head Office in Rwanda and now ‘supporting Africa, from Africa’ – something which is very important as ICDL Africa continues to grow across the continent.
Mr. Etinick Mutinda, ICDL Country Manager, updated delegates on the activities of his team across Kenya in the previous year. With nearly 100 Accredited Test Centres today and key partnerships in place, there are many opportunities to reach more citizens across the country so that they can have access to digital skills training and certification to the international standard.
Dr. Dorcas Omukhulu, Assistant Director Technical Education, TVET Authority gave a presentation on the new authority. ICDL Africa is among the first international organisations in Kenya seeking accreditation with TVETA and it will be a mandatory requirement for existing and new ATCs. Her insights into the mandate of TVETA in the regulation and governance of educational institutions and their programmes gave delegates the opportunity understand clearly the changes that will be necessary so that Kenya maintains high standards across the training and certification sector.
Mr. Teddy Njoroge, ICDL Operations Support updated delegates on the ICDL Africa ATC audit process and the key findings to date. Overall ATCs audits have been a positive experience and a chance for the Kenya team to meet with staff and discuss any challenges they may have. As well as to make sure that the ICDL Foundation Quality Assurance Standards are being observed, so that Kenyan candidates have the same experience of the ICDL programme as any other candidates around the world, across the network of 24,000 ATCs globally.
ICDL Africa Partner Relations Manager, Ms. Marie-Claire Walsh presented findings from a recent survey of Kenyan ATCs in the area of training in particular. This was the first survey of its kind in Kenya and gave ATCs a chance to compare the training solutions, training hours, module availability and pricing in the Kenyan market.
Finally, Ms. Rosalind Githinji, Curriculum Development Assessment and Certification Council (CDACC) gave a brief presentation on the role of CDACC, in conjunction with TVETA. It was very positive to have both organisations in attendance.
The Forum concluded with the much coveted ATC Awards, presented by the ICDL Foundation CEO. The awards recognise the hard work and commitment of ATCs in the previous year across a range of categories.
• Outstanding Initiative Award - Nairobi Institute of Business Studies
• Operational Excellence Award – Computer Pride
• Marketing Excellence Award - Institute of Advanced Technology (IAT)
• Special Recognition Award - Machakos Institute of Technology
• Pioneer Award – University of Rwanda
Thank you to all the delegates for their attendance and participation in making the ICDL Africa Forum as great success, in particular ICDL Africa staff who travelled from Nigeria and Uganda to take part. Looking forward to next year!