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African Virtual University: Transforming Africa into a Global Knowledge Hub



The African Virtual University (AVU) has established the largest distance and eLearning network in over 27 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, and produced more than 40,000 graduates. It hosts 219 open educational modules ranging from mathematics and science, teacher education, and ICT skills –available free of charge in English, French and Portuguese. The AVU’s interactive portal is accessed beyond Africa in 142 countries with a majority from Brazil and the United States. AVU continues to gain international recognition by increasing access to quality education for thousands of Africans. It was awarded the top prize for Best Emerging Initiative by over 4,000 people in the first OpenCourseWare (OCW) People’s Choice Awards. Created in 1997, to increase African students’ access to quality education through the use of ICT, AVU moved its base to Kenya and became a pan-African intergovernmental organization in 2003.

ADF Financing, Project Preparation, Advisory and Brokering Roles

The AfDB has been an active partner in the creation of AVU and has invested US $7.3 million in 2004. In 2011, it provided a US $15.6 million grant through the African Development Fund to create 12 new open distance and e-learning centres and upgrade 15 e-learning centres, at the 27 AVU partner institutions.


ADF-12 provided a grant of US $15.6 million for the implementation of AVU II.


ADF 13 is expected to play a crucial role in continuing to support AVU as well as other ICT education projects.

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