INVITATION: A conversation with ICT/IT Directors from African Universities

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On behalf of the Association of African Universities (AAU) and the Association of South African University Directors of Information Technology (ASAUDIT) – you are invited to participate in a webinar where we would be having a conversation with Directors of Information and Communication Technology Departments in African Universities.

This webinar will take place on Thursday 8th October 2020 from 11am GMT – this converts to 12 noon for Nigeria, 1 pm for Southern Africa and 2pm for East Africa. The webinar would last for 2 hours. Please register via this ZOOM link: https://tinyurl.com/ICTDirectorsAfrica

The critical role that ICT/IT Departments in African Universities have played during the COVID-19 pandemic have been widely noted and appreciated, with particular reference to supporting remote teaching and learning and helping educational communities to adapt to the new normal.

Directors of Information and Communication Technology in African Universities play key roles of supporting the technological infrastructure in their institutions – and this includes campus networks, management information systems, cloud services and the maintenance of learning infrastructure and devices. This technology infrastructure enables the integration of technology to support the core businesses of higher educational institutions, which is teaching, learning, research and community engagement. It is important that the work of ICT/IT Directors evolves and goes beyond infrastructure support – but also supports universities to implement effective digital education, support students to have good learning experiences and support their universities to build partnerships in order to sustain the digitization agenda of African Universities.

The “new normal” has elevated the important role of technology in our everyday lives. This has also come with emerging challenges related to accommodating the unconnected, responding to information security, quality assuring online teaching, addressing limited budgets, strengthening institutional digital strategies and the urgent need to train faculty and students to be able to use the digital platforms.

We have lined up several seasoned speakers that include:

  1. Mr Andre le Roux. ICT Director, University of Cape Town, South Africa
  2. Mr Lucas Chigabatia – Chief Information Officer, University of Ghana, Ghana
  3. Ms Val Theron the General Manager of the Association of South African University Directors of Information Technology, South Africa
  4. Ms Nodumo Dhlamini, Association of African Universities, Ghana and Zimbabwe

Topics to be covered include:

  1. Lessons from West Africa that have been learned by ICT/IT Directorates during the COVID-19 pandemic
  2. Emerging Cybersecurity Issues that need to be addressed by African Higher Education Institutions
  3. Tips on implementing Blended Learning Technologies
  4. How ICT/IT Directorates could reposition their roles in African Universities

The long-term goals of such AAU-led webinars is to leverage the power of a community to support less resourced universities in terms of access to technical information and knowledge. There are also opportunities for African IT/ICT Directorates to collaborate in the joint procurement of otherwise expensive IT products and services. In the medium future we would also like to run IT Skills development programs for the benefit of the IT/ICT Directorates. The areas of skills development are anticipated to cover cybersecurity, implementing and maintaining learning management systems, leadership for African IT/ICT Directors, business continuity and disaster recovery planning. We would also like to strengthen the participation of African Universities in their National Research and Education Networks.

For any inquiries please email ndhlamini@aau.org