The AVU has had new leadership since August 2007. The new direction of the organization and its strategy are reflected in the AVU Business Plan 2009-2014 and marketing and Communication Plan 2009-14. The AVU now puts a strong emphasis on impact and organizational sustainability through its concept of service oriented framework. This allows the organization to fulfill its Vision and Mission without depending primarily on donor funding.
The AVU has wound up its degree programs previously brokered from the west, the last one being a Bachelor of Computer Science delivered in 8 Francophone countries. The emphasis is now on African based programs, capacity building, Open Educational Resources as well as programs and projects that will sustain economic development and peace in Africa.
To strengthen its organizational structure, a 5 -year Business Plan 2009 to 2014 that focuses on a clear strategy built on the new direction of the organization has been developed. AVU has adopted a new charter.
The AVU will frame many of its activities as services that are provided to the client/recipient for a fee, irrespective of who pays the fee. The fee may be paid by an individual, an NGO or international organization or by a donor. The new programs and services include: diploma & certificate programs; 3rd party programs and courses; e-Conferencing and virtual meetings; 3rd party and custom content development. The AVU will also offer not-for-profit development services through its capacity building initiatives. These are: updating and developing content, Open Educational Resources, AVU Capacity Enhancement Program (ACEP), setting up or upgrading Learning Centres, developing professional networks such as the Teacher Education Virtual Consortium and Communities of Practice, Research and Development, Quality Assurance, and Evaluation & Benchmarking.
A Communication and Marketing Strategy 2009-2014 has also been developed to support the AVU’s Vision, Mission, strategic objectives and its business plan. AVU has redesigned its website so as to revamp its presence and to make it a more efficient communication and marketing tool. The new website will include: AVU’s main website www.avu.org; an Open Educational Resource (OER) repository that will host 73 modules of Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Teacher Education, ICT in Education and ICT basic skills. The Repository will host other materials developed or acquired by the AVU. AVU will launch a web portal for its Virtual Campus for Development and Peace, which will deliver programs, courses and online seminars that advance economic development and peace building in Africa. The Virtual Campus for Development and Peace will target learners from the formal and informal sectors.
The AVU has achieved remarkable results from July 2007 to January 2010. Over its 13 years of existence, the AVU has trained more than 40,000 students, has established 53 centers in 27 countries, and has acquired the largest eLearning network in Africa. In Somalia, the AVU has graduated 4,000 students, 30% of whom are women. Our greatest asset is the ability to work across borders and language groups in Anglophone, Francophone and Lusophone Africa including in conflict and post-conflict zones.
I call upon all of you to work with the AVU in order to build on the remarkable gains of the organization, especially since 2007. Together we can increase access to quality education and training through eLearning.