Pan-African Symposium on Digital Learning in Global Africa

UNICEF-South-Africa-2020-Prinsloo
ⓒ UNICEF South Africa/2020/Prinsloo

Thursday & Friday, October 21 & 22, 2021   |   Virtual International Symposium

The Howard University Department of African Studies will host an international virtual symposium on Digital Learning in Global Africa During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic, on October 21 and 22, 2021. The Department plans the symposium in collaboration with the Title VI Center for African Studies at Howard University; the Howard University Department of World Languages and Cultures; the Howard University Department of Strategic, Legal and Management Communication; the Howard University Center for Women and Gender Studies; the Thabo Mbeki African School of Public & International Affairs (TM-School) South Africa; the Bowie State University Department of History & Government; Distance Education for Africa (DeAfrica); and the State of the African Diaspora.

The purpose of the Symposium is to enable scholars, researchers, and Higher Education Executives from the African continent and the Global African Diaspora (GAD) to critically reflect on the challenges and opportunities that the COVID-19 pandemic has created for higher learning and research on the continent of Africa, in the Caribbean, and in the African American community. It is also to enable the participants to explore concrete and innovative ways in which institutions in these Global African regions can utilize digital technology to meet the challenges and seek ways to improve teaching, learning, and research.

Paper Proposal Submission Deadline Extended: July 30, 2021

Submit your paper via the Paper Submission Form and register via the Conference Registration Form below.

Rationale

It has been established that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted Africans and peoples of African descent in critical areas such as healthcare, food security, and education. The pandemic has exacerbated the disadvantages that many of these communities already faced in terms of access to decent economic, financial, infrastructural, and technological resources and, by the same token, made teaching and learning more exacting for both teachers and students. 

On the other hand, HBCUs in the United States, universities in the Caribbean, predominantly Black institutions in Central and South America, and some African universities, have devised effective teaching and learning means and methods that can be further developed into potent resources within a global Pan-African system of higher learning. Universities in Africa and the GAD can and should create transnational networks of integrated digital platforms, digitize library and archival resources, and train educators and researchers in the professional use of the integrated platforms for teaching and research. This, in turn, will effectively prepare faculty to master the techniques of digital education and research. It will also enable the participating institutions to collaboratively discover and create knowledge, integrate contemporary learning managements systems (LMS), and efficiently educate current and future generations of students.

Desired Outcome

The ultimate desired outcome of the symposium is the establishment of a Pan-African Digital Consortium (PADC) through the implementation of the steps outlined above. The PADC is envisioned to consist of Howard University and several other HBCUs, and several African and Caribbean universities. It is recommended that the Symposium include a roundtable of Higher Education Executives that will lay the conceptual foundation of the Pan-African Digital Consortium and articulate the short-, medium-, and long-term phases of its implementation.

Organizing Partners

Howard University Department of African Studies
Howard University Center for African Studies
Howard University Department of World Languages and Cultures
Howard University Department of Strategic, Legal and Management Communication
Howard University Center for Women and Gender Studies
State of the African Diaspora 
Distance Education for Africa (DeAfrica)
Thabo Mbeki African School of Public & International Affairs (TM-School) South Africa
Bowie State University Department of History & Government
Association of African Universities (AAU)
Pan African Heritage World (PAHW)

Call for Papers

The Symposium Organizing Committee has decided to extend the deadline for submission of paper and panel proposals to July 30 to accommodate the increasing number of interested persons and institutions.

Those interested in making presentations are invited to submit a paper proposal of no more than 200 words and a short biography by July 30, 2021 (Deadline Extended). Colleagues who want to propose panels should submit the paper proposals and short biographies of the prospective panelists. Each proposed panel should have a working topic.

The Organizing Committee will review the paper and panel proposals and send out notifications of acceptance or decline. Those whose proposals are accepted will have until September 30 to submit their papers. 

Howard University Department of African Studies      Howard University Department of World Languages and Cultures      Howard University Department of Strategic, Legal and Management Communication      Howard University Center for Women and Gender Studies      cfas logo

Thabo Mbeki African School of Public & International Affairs      Bowie State University Department of History & Government      State of the African Diaspora      Distance Education for Africa      Association of African Universities      Pan African Heritage World