TAMK in Senegal – Future of e-learning is in Africa

People standing and smiling at Team Finland exhibition booth.
Team Finland Booth at eLearning Africa -conference exhibition area.

Tampere University of Applied Sciences participated on a business trip organised by Finnpartnership in Dakar, Senegal, at the end of May. TAMK’s focus during the trip was to share information especially about TAMK’s teacher training services to African market area. The Finnpartnership business partnership programme supports Finnish companies and companies in developing countries in finding new business opportunities and partners. The programme is funded annually with about 4 million Euros from the development cooperation appropriations of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

The trip included two different events; Finland-Senegal Education Partnership Forum and eLearning Africa Conference where TAMK participated as an exhibitor.

The Finland-Senegal Education Partnership Forum was a one-day event, of which invitation had been sent to Senegalese organisations interested in Finnish education service providers. The event was high-level, as there were participants from ministries of both Senegal and Finland. All the participating Finnish organisations introduced their services, TAMK focusing especially on teacher training. The event got a lot of media attention and a news clip of it was broadcasted in the evening’s main news on television. As a result, the Finnish delegation was surprisingly well recognised in Dakar – also outside the business context.

Five people sitting on a stage and discussing.
Finland-Senegal Education Partnerhsip Forum with organising bodies; ministries from Finland and Senegal, Finnpartnership and Pathfinder Foundation.

The eLearning Africa conference and exhibition, on the other hand, is an annual conference, where the participants of the education sector come mainly from African countries. eLearning Africa is the largest and most comprehensive knowledge sharing event for technology-enhanced education, training and skills on the African continent. It is a global forum for everyone with an interest in these topics in Africa. In the past years it has offered thousands of professionals in education, training and development invaluable insights into the evolving world of technology learning. TAMK was present at the exhibition area all three days and promoted especially FinPEDA, a teacher training programme for international teachers. Also, teacher trainings for specific groups were discussed with the decision-makers of the education sector.

TAMK participated in the eLearning conference last year in Kigali, Rwanda for the first time. As a result, negotiations for Teacher Training programmes are being held right now. African economies are growing fast, and in the conference, it was stated several times that Africa’s future prosperity will be built on education. Technology gives the continent the chance to spread the benefits of education across the area, but a lot needs to be done still.

As an example, only 30-40 per cent of the citizens in Africa have access to the internet in 2023. In addition to that, the internet connection is very often too slow for efficient work or studies. Thus, the conference was able to share very practical hints, tools and services for the educational service providers to tackle the connection problems; such as saving the bandwidth and using offline tools for the peak hours. All in all, e-learning was seen as an innovative, accessible and inclusive solution for the growing masses of the African population.

Read more about Finnpartnership: https://finnpartnership.fi/en/frontpage/


Text: Nina Kärki, Customer Relations Manager at TAMK

Pictures: Nora Klami, Counsellor at Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

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