Since its inception in 2011, TECHAiDE has been at the forefront of leveraging Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to drive progress in education, youth development, and health delivery across Africa. In collaboration with international development partners from Africa, Europe, and America, TECHAiDE has deployed appropriate technologies and developed human capacities, unleashing the potential of individuals, communities, and institutions.

ASANKA: Bridging the Digital Divide in Education
A hallmark of TECHAiDE’s innovative approach is the ASANKA platform. ASANKA addresses the prevalent digital divide in educational settings by providing offline access to educational content, resources, and tools. In regions with unreliable internet connectivity, ASANKA ensures that educators and students can access high-quality educational materials and conduct interactive lessons without the need for consistent internet access.

The offline functionality of ASANKA promotes inclusive learning environments, mitigates disruptions caused by unreliable internet infrastructure, and ultimately fosters equitable access to education. This approach aligns with TECHAiDE’s mission to develop sustainable solutions that lower the total cost of ownership.

 AU’s Year of Education 2024: A Milestone for Africa
The African Union (AU) recently convened a Summit of Heads of State to launch the Year of Education 2024, themed “Educate an African Fit for the 21st Century: Building Resilient Education Systems for increased access to inclusive, lifelong, quality, and relevant learning in Africa.” This declaration aims to galvanize efforts towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) and the Continental Strategy for Education in Africa (CESA).

Lieke Van Der Wiel, Deputy Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa at UNICEF emphasized the significance of this initiative: “Education is the right of every child and the foundation for children’s well-being, happiness, growth, and lifelong learning. This declaration by the AU presents a tremendous opportunity and responsibility to develop the human capital for the future of the continent.”

 Progress and Challenges in African Education
Over the past two decades, African governments have made substantial strides in increasing educational access and completion rates. Between 2000 and 2022, primary education completion rates rose from 52% to 69%, lower secondary from 35% to 50%, and upper secondary from 23% to 33%. These figures demonstrate significant progress, with more children attending and completing school than ever before.

 However, substantial challenges remain in achieving SDG 4. The global education crisis and the off-track progress toward this goal have led to the organization of a high-level AU side event in New York, resulting in a draft declaration reviewed and adopted by the Specialized Technical Committee on Education, Science, and Technology. This declaration emphasized the need for a collective commitment to address education challenges and was widely supported by African leaders, UN representatives, and partners.

 Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, proposed that education be the AU Theme of the Year 2024, a proposal that received unanimous support. The final declaration reaffirms commitments to continental education strategies and SDG 4 and is set for consideration and adoption at the 36th ordinary session of the Assembly summit in February 2023.

TECHAiDE’s Contribution to the Future of Education
In alignment with the African Union’s 2024 education theme, TECHAiDE’s ASANKA platform is making substantial contributions to the educational landscape in Africa. By providing offline digital resources and leveraging AI tools, ASANKA empowers teachers to create outstanding local content, bridging the urban-rural divide. This initiative ensures equitable access for every learner, underscoring TECHAiDE’s commitment to leaving no one behind in the digital education revolution.

 Kafui A. Prebbie, CEO of TECHAiDE, articulated the mission: “Aligned with the African Union’s theme, the ASANKA platform by TECHAiDE, is revolutionizing education by providing offline digital resources and leveraging AI tools to empower teachers to create outstanding local content to bridge the urban-rural divide. We’re providing equitable access for every learner and ensuring that no one is left behind in the digital education revolution”

Moving Forward
As Africa embarks on the AU’s Year of Education in 2024, initiatives like TECHAiDE’s ASANKA platform will be crucial in building resilient and inclusive education systems. By addressing the digital divide and providing sustainable, cost-effective educational solutions, TECHAiDE is set to drive transformative change and empower the next generation of learners across the continent. Through continuous innovation and collaboration with international partners, TECHAiDE is dedicated to shaping a brighter future for education in Africa.