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NEPAD | e-Africa Commission


NEPAD e-schools Initiative

The NEPAD e-Schools Initiative was publicly launched in Durban at the Africa Summit of the World Economic Forum on June 12, 2003.

The NEPAD e-Schools Initiative has been adopted as a priority continental undertaking aimed at ensuring that African youth graduate from African schools with the skills that will enable them to participate effectively in the global information society.

The aim of the initiative is to impart ICT skills to young Africans in primary and secondary schools as well as harness ICT technology to improve, enrich and expand education in African countries.

From the outset, it was envisaged that project execution would be holistic, including at least the following components: infrastructure (including computers, communications, networking, power, etc.); ICT training for teachers; content and curriculum development; efforts towards community buy-in, involvement and ownership of the process; “health point” definition issues; organization and management of the project; partnership issues; financial and sustainability issues.

Aims and Objectives

The Initiative aims to impart ICT skills to young Africans in primary and secondary schools as well as harness ICT technology to improve, enrich and expand education in African countries. The aim is to equip all African primary and secondary schools with ICT apparatus such as computers, radios and television sets, phones and fax machines, communication equipment, scanners, digital cameras, copiers, etc, and to connect them to the internet. Each school is equipped with a ‘health point’.

Specific Objectives of the NEPAD e-Schools Initiative

  • To provide ICT skills and knowledge to primary and secondary school students that will enable them to function in the emerging Information Society and Knowledge Economy;
  • To provide teachers with ICT skills to enable them to use ICT as tools to enhance teaching and learning;
  • To provide school managers with ICT skills so as to facilitate the efficient management and administration in the schools; and
  • To make every learner health literate.

More about the E-schools Initiative

Implementation and Coordination: National Implementing Agencies

The approach adopted by the NEPAD e-Africa Commission for implementation of this Initiative is one of “Continental Coordination – National Implementation”. While NEPAD e-Africa Commission plans, coordinates and sets standards at the continental level, the actual implementation and execution of the project is carried out by individual countries.

Each participating country will therefore, formally establish and capacitate a National Implementation Agency (NIA), which will be responsible for all aspects of implementation at the national level. Governments will take the lead in setting up the agencies.

The NEPAD e-Schools Initiative has a NEPAD e-Schools Concept Framework, which describes the major features, objectives and priority actions related to this initiative. The initiative also has a NEPAD e-Schools Implementation Structure, geared towards national execution with continental coordination through the NEPAD e-Africa Commission and provides for a division of functions between national entities and the Commission.

The NEPAD e-schools Continental Coordinating Body (CCB) reviews and endorses the strategic directions of the NEPAD e-Schools Initiative. The CCB is constituted by 32 officials, with each participating country contributing two senior officials from the ministries of the Education and Information and Communication Technologies.

The concept framework, the implementation structure and the NEPAD e-Schools Coordinating Body, were formed at a workshop held May 13-15, 2004 in Johannesburg by nearly 30 senior officials nominated by the governments of the first phase countries of the initiative.

The management of the NEPAD e-Schools Initiative at country level is carried out by Country Liaison Persons (CLPs), who are government officials appointed by the ministries of education of the participating countries. The CLPs work with the school principals and teachers who are also critical for the successful implementation of this Initiative. The CLPs ensure that the communities get involved and share in the resources provided by this Initiative. The first CLP workshop was held June 29-1 July 2005 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The NEPAD e-Schools Initiative, which involves 600,000 schools across the African continent, will be executed over a ten-year period, with the secondary school component being completed in the first five years. Three phases are envisaged: 15-20 countries in each phase. The phases will be staggered by one year.

The NEPAD e-Africa Commission is spearheading implementation with several components running in parallel, namely: the Demonstration Project (Demo), the business plan, the satellite connectivity project, teacher training and content development.

The NEPAD e-Schools Demonstration Project

The purpose of the Demo is to accrue a body of knowledge, based on real-life experiences of implementing ICT in schools across the African continent, in order to inform the rollout of the NEPAD e-Schools Initiative.

This includes the investigation and reporting of the typical scenarios, circumstances and requirements for implementation, challenges in large-scale implementation, effectiveness of partnerships and partnership models, and benefits of the envisaged satellite-based connectivity network.

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Criteria for Selection of countries participating in the Demo phase
The countries invited to participate in the first phase were those which acceded to the MOU of the NEPAD African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) as follows: Algeria, Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda.

The Demo involves six schools in each participating country as shown in the table below.


Because the NEPAD e-Schools initiatives have generated a lot of interest in African countries, some of these countries are keen to benefit from the experience and resources of the NEPAD e-Schools Initiative. Since the NEPAD e-Schools Initiative targets all African countries it is logical that countries that are ready to invest in ICT-in-education can quickly be incorporated into the programme and thus realise the benefits. It is therefore important to define a strategy to agree on criteria's to incorporate new countries within the initiative. 

The Strategy

  • The country formally applies to the NEPAD e-Africa Commission to join the NEPAD e-Schools Initiative.
  • High-level meetings take place between officials from Ministry of Education of applying country and NEPAD e-Africa Commission during which the NEPAD e-Schools Initiative and the best practices for implementation of NEPAD e-Schools are explained and discussed
  • The Continental Coordinating Body of the NEPAD e-Schools Initiative is informed in writing of the country's application to join the NEPAD e-Schools Initiative.
  • A standard MOU is signed between the Ministry of Education of the applying country and the NEPAD e-Africa Commission. The MOU commits the applying country to establish at least 20 NEPAD e-Schools using a best practice approach.
  • The country is invited to establish a National Implementing Agency which, together with the NEPAD e-Africa Commission, supervises the establishment of 20 NEPAD e-Schools in the applying country.
  • The applying country is given the mandate to nominate two representatives to the CCB and to participate in all relevant activities of the NEPAD e-Schools Initiative.
AlgeriaBurkina FasoCameroon
  • Lycée Draa Mohamed Sadek
  • Lycée Ben Sahnoun El Rachedi
  • Lycée Abdelhak Benhamouda
  • Lycée Cite Olympique
  • Lycée Abderrahmanr Ben Ouf
  • Lycée Bouchoucha
  • Lycée Untaani
  • Lycée Provincial de Boulsa
  • Lycée Provincial de Ziniare
  • Lycée Yadega
  • Collège d'enseignement général de Komtoega
  • Collège d'Enseignement
  • Général (CEG) de Pobe Mangao
  • Government School, Buea
  • Government School, Mvengue
  • Lycée Classique d'Edea
  • Lycée Technique de Bamenda
  • Government Bilingual
  • Secondary School, Bafia
  • Government School, Mbansan
  • El Moqta Secondary Mixed School
  • Omaer Ibn Abd El Aziz Elsalaa Sec. School
  • Elhadin Secondary School
  • El Ghrfa El Tegaria Secondary School
  • Sobeih Secondary School
  • Elwesam Experimental School
  • CES André Gustave Anguile
  • CES Mouapa Beotsa
  • Lycée Paul Marie Yembit
  • Lycée Richard Nguema Bekale
  • CES Edouard Mossot
  • CES Lucien Nkouna
  • Walewale Secondary School
  • Acherensua Secondary School
  • Ola Girls Secondary School
  • St Augustine's Secondary School
  • Wa Secondary School
  • Akomadan Secondary School
  • Sechaba High School
  • Sefikeng High School
  • Bereng High School
  • Lesotho High School
  • Qacha's Nek High School
  • St. Cyprian's High School
  • Lycée Alfred Garcon
  • Lycée Attaher Ag Illy
  • Lycée Bocar Cisse
  • Lycée Mamadou Sarr
  • Lycée Fodie Maguiraga
  • Lycée Dowele Mariko
  • Belle Rose State Secondary School
  • MEDCO (Cassis) Secondary School
  • Windsor College
  • Mon Lubin College
  • Rose Belle High School
  • Ambassador College
  • Escola Secundaria de Cuamba
  • Escola Secundaria de Emilia Dausse
  • Escola Secundaria de Vilanculos
  • Escola Secundaria de Gurué
  • Escola Secundaria de Angoche
  • Escola Secundaria JoaquimChissano
  • Science & Technical College Uyo
  • Science & Technical College Lassa
  • Government Academy Suleja
  • Government Girls College Bakori
  • Government College Odogbolu
  • Government Girls College Owerri
  • Collège ST André
  • Lycée de Zaza (in Kibungo-Zaza-Ruhembe)
  • Ecoles Secondaire St Francois de Shangi
  • G.S. Muhura
  • Collège Christ-Rois de Nyanza
  • ESSA-Gisenyi
SenegalSouth AfricaUganda
  • Lycée De Bargny
  • Lycée Aline Sitoe Diatta
  • Lycée Ibou Diallo
  • Lycée De Niakhar
  • Lycée De Dahra
  • Lycée Waounde Ndiaye
  • Isiphosethu High School
  • Thozamisa High School
  • Lomahasha Secondary School
  • Ipetleng Secondary School
  • Hendrick Makapan High School
  • Maripe Secondary School
  • Kyambogo College School
  • Masaka Secondary School
  • Bugulumbya Secondary School
  • Bukuya Secondary School
  • St. Andrew Kaggwa Senior Secondary School
  • Kabale Secondary School
KenyaCongo Brazzaville

  • Chavakali High School
  • Isiolo Girls Secondary School
  • Menengai Mixed Secondary School
  • Maranda High School
  • Mumbi Girls Secondary School
  • Wajir Girls Secondary School
  • Collège Paul NSonde, Brazzaville
  • Collège d'Oyo, Oyo Cuvette
  • Collège de Dolisie, Dolisie Niari
  • Collège Ouesso, Ouesso Sangha
  • Collège Pokola, Pokola Sangha
  • Collège Nkyai, Nkyayi Bouenda

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    Partnership model

    A partnership model has been developed and tested that involves the participating governments, private sector companies and the e-Africa Commission.

    The partnership model entails five consortia led by AMD, Cisco, HP, Microsoft, and Oracle, involving more than fifty private sector companies that are funding the Demo. This partnership is agreed in a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed before the start of implementation.

    COMPANIES PARTICIPATING IN NEPAD E-SCHOOLS PROJECT DEMO AMD, Cisco, HP, Microsoft and Oracle lead the five Consortia

    HP ConsortiumMicrosoft ConsortiumOracle ConsortiumCisco ConsortiumAMD Consortium
    • Eskom
    • EduTouch
    • Mindset Network
    • Multichoice Africa
    • Intel corporation
    • EduPac
    • learnthings Africa
    • Computers for Kids
    • SMART Technologies Inc/Edge Interactive
    • Motorola
    • HP Education
    • Agile Learning Company
    • Cisco
    • UNDP
    • Learnthings Africa
    • SAP
    • Intel Corporation
    • Mecer
    • Fujitsu - Siemens
    • Mindset Network
    • Multichoice Africa
    • SMART /Edge Interactive
    • WorldSpace
    • Agile Learning Company
    • CompuTainer
    • RDL
    • Lexmark International Inc
    • SES-New Skies Satellite Network
    • i-Direct Technologies
    • WorldSpace Satellite Network
    • InterSat Africa Limited (IAL)
    • Oracle Education Foundation
    • Sentech
    • Mecer
    • Multichoice Africa
    • Fujitsu - Siemens Computers
    • Intel
    • CompuTainer
    • Newsdesk Africa
    • Markbook
    • learnthings Africa
    • Cambridge-Hitachi
    • Ses Astra
    • Evalunet
    • DHL
    • Xerox
    • Microsoft
    • Intel Corporation
    • learnthings Africa
    • Multichoice Africa
    • WorldSpace Satellite Radio
    • CompuTainer
    • Agile Learning Company
    • Learning Online
    • LearnScapes
    • Seven Seas Technolgies
    • Inveneo
    • EarthWalk Communications, Inc
    • AMD
    • Pinnacle Micro
    • American Power Conversion (APC)
    • Danash Engineering Ltd
    • Heinemann Publishers
    • Mindset Network
    • Harcourt Education
    • InterSat Africa Limited (IAL)
    • i-Direct Technologies
    • SES New Skies Satellites
    • Lexmark International Inc.
    • SMART Technologies Inc/ Edge Interactive
    • Rock Global Consulting
    • Universal Communication Services Ltd (UCS)
    • Cisco
    • Microsoft
    • learnthings Africa
    • CompuTainer
    • Agile Learning Company
    • Inveneo
    • SES-New Skies Satellite Network
    • Multichoice Africa
    • InterSat Africa
    • i-Direct Technologies

    In this private-public partnership, the responsibilities of the parties are as follows:

    Government: Appoints and supports in-country structures necessary for planning and implementation, country level coordination and planning, facilitates entry of equipment required for the Demo Project, ensures safety of equipment deployed to the schools, provides conducive ICT regulatory environment, ensures readiness of schools and availability of teachers and other personnel, and approval of digital content.

    Private sector: Provides end-to-end solution that includes the deployment of IT and associated networking solutions, sources and delivers suitable digital content, trains first-line support staff and teachers, provides suitable support, maintenance, satellite connectivity and power solution (where necessary).

    Each Demo school is equipped with a computer laboratory containing at least 20 PCs as well as a server, networking infrastructure and peripherals such as scanner, white board and printers. The schools are equipped with Internet access and a "health point", which ensures the dissemination of appropriate information related to health matters such as epidemics, nutrition and personal hygiene.

    Commission: Ensures political goodwill and commitment, African trans-continental coordination and performs research, monitoring and evaluation.

    Other partners

    The partnership has been further strengthened by the support and contribution of a number of development partners. The Commission has created a partnership forum, known as Information Society Partnership for Africa's Development (ISPAD). Most of the companies participating in the NEPAD e-Schools are ISPAD members.

    There are other partners, apart from the ISPAD members, who are contributing to the development and implementation of the NEPAD e-Schools such as The South African Department of Communications, International Telecommunication Union; South African Council of Industrial and Scientific Research (CSIR)-Meraka Institute; the Commonwealth of Learning together with InfoDev; African Development Bank; and many others.

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    All countries except Algeria have signed the NEPAD e-Schools MOU. Nine countries have already officially launched the NEPAD e-Schools Project in their respective countries. The countries are: Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Mali, Mauritius, Rwanda, South Africa, and Uganda. The Demo project is launched at events normally officiated by the Head of State or Government or his/her representative. Of the nine country launch events organized, six were officiated by the Head of State or Government while events in Egypt, Ghana and Mali were officiated by their representatives.

    All launch events have been widely publicized through television and radio stations, and newspapers, and elsewhere through print media, electronic news channels, radio and television. The sustained publicity of official launches has assisted in resource mobilization, strategies for sustainability of the schools and in the visibility and recognition of our development and private sector partners.

    Eighty (80) schools in fifteen countries have had computers and printers, local networks, audio/visual equipment, and internet connectivity installed. Teachers and learners have been trained and acquired ICT skills. Another consequence of the Demo project has been the provision or upgrading of infrastructure. For example Bugulumbya Secondary School in Uganda had buildings renovated and power provided to allow for the deployment of the equipment

    Mauritius and Kenya have adopted the NEPAD e-Schools Model and have already started rolling out ICT to 100 schools using resources mobilized internally and from partners.

    The Commission is using lessons learnt from the monitoring and evaluation reports produced by the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), in partnership with infoDev, to finalise the planning for the rollout.

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    The teacher training and Online Curriculum Content


    To provide teachers and learners access to relevant online curriculum content developed to address their requirements, and to enable current and graduating teachers to use ICT to improve the quality of teaching and learning.

    The Commission secured funding from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to contract a consultant to define the teacher development framework for teacher training and professional development. The consultant has developed a discussion document that recommends parameters for professional development in the NEPAD e-schools environment

    The NEPAD e-Schools Satellite Network

    In view of the size of the continent and the poor state of its ICT infrastructure, there is need to provide an overlay satellite network that will offer broadband connectivity to the rural areas where the 600,000 NEPAD e-Schools will be located.

    The satellite network will be based on leased space segment capacity. A satellite terminal will be installed at each school, with computers and other communication facilities being connected to the Internet through this terminal.


    An architecture study of this network has been completed, which will form the basis for future development for the NEPAD e-Schools Satellite Network. In addition to the communication facilities, non-grid power sources will also be provided at those schools.

    Telkom SA has been requested to consider seconding an expert for an initial two year period to help with accelerating implementation. Planned activities include: (i) full system specification including operations centre; (ii) operations centre establishment; and (iii) leasing of initial space segment capacity for commencement of operations.

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    The NEPAD e-Schools Business Plan


    The NEPAD e-Schools Business Plan is a critical component for the roll-out of the NEPAD e-Schools Initiative. The Plan provides the necessary information about funding requirements and other actions required for the roll-out in the first-phase countries.

    Contracted by the Commission, Ernst & Young has  develop the Plan in consultation with experts from the participating countries, Regional Economic Communities, the African Development Bank, the lead consortia companies, and civil society organizations. This effort was funded by the South African Government.

    The Business plan is now available. On April 2008, the NEPAD e-Schools stakeholders Conference was held in Johannesburg, South Africa to endorse the draft Business Plan proposed by Ernst & Young. The Business Plan was adopted and Resolutions were taken. In addition, the various resolutions call upon national governments to adopt the NEPAD e-Schools Business Plan as a broad framework to implement NEPAD e-Schools and urge them to develop their own national e-schools business Plan by 2010. The Stakeholders Conference also call upon to implement the decision to implement the decision to establish , empower and equip National Implementation Agencies or institutional frameworks for the implementation of the NEPAD e-schools whose governance structure includes stakeholders by 2009.       

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    Monitoring & Evaluation of the Demo Project

    Three M & E reports have been produced by the Commonwealth of Learning (January & July 2006, March 2007) which have highlighted the main issues observed in the course of the Demo and should be taken into account during rollout implementation of the project.

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