We've been serving South Africa region for more than a year now. It’s a key market for us and has been growing consistently. We visited this region a couple of weeks back and observed a growing momentum towards custom elearning development services.
During our visit, we had an opportunity to meet with some leading eLearning companies and a few major corporate clients. As the urge for custom elearning services amplifies within corporate and education world, we see a growing interest in outsourcing their elearning projects to offshore companies to meet their exponentially growing needs within their budgets.
Self-paced eLearning revenues in Africa reached USD250.9 million in 2011 and will more than double to USD512.7 million by 2016.
Over the last couple of years, quite a few eLearning development companies have surfaced in the Johannesburg & Cape Town region to cope up with the growth of elearning market. The companies believe elearning initiative can bridge the gap between people development and job skills required and it continues to promote the importance of inculcating new learning technologies in the country’s education and corporate sector.
Mobile learning in the region is being discussed a lot but not adopted to the extent one would hope, however we see an interest in creating elearning content for tablets. With introduction of the recent Fibre Network, it will improve the quality of Information and Communications Technology which will lead to a boost in eLearning initiatives in the education and corporate sector.
There's a definite progress towards acceptance of delivering learning on tablets and smart phones due to increased broadband connectivity and advanced technology of handsets. The next generation of Africa will see an emergence of the online content market.
There have been significant reports to the World Bank, eTransform Africa Final Report, and to the World Economic Forum, Accelerating the Adoption of mLearning and Transforming learning through mEducation.
We have also noticed as of late an increased demand of client requests for delivering eLearning and mobile learning from South Africa region and its neighboring countries like Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, Senegal and Nigeria. Companies are keen of converting their exiting elearning content into tablet ready courses as a result of enhanced telecom infrastructure.
Identify e-Learner's Needs To Make eLearning A Success!
As quick and instant access to information is essential for companies to stay ahead in competition that are looking to offer online training to employees, they have to acknowledge that each individual learner will have a different way of consuming information. Learners could have a wide range of experiences when accessing online training, and it is important for providers to take this into account. Learners in Africa have varied learning styles and if learners do not receive learning content tailored to meet their needs and expectations, it is likely that the training delivered won't be as effective or long-lasting. The "one-size-fits-all" approach is out of date and ineffective.
Learners in Africa prefer to have detailed information on any subject that will actively engage them in eLearning and are more reluctant towards manual training. They rely on knowledge delivery and explore new learning technologies.
To make their elearning initiative a success, companies have to emphasize the importance of preparing e-learners before embarking on major eLearning projects. They need to know the characteristics, motivations & potential of learners and find out where, when and how they want to learn. This will determine the modalities for implementing cost-effective elearning programs and would be the first successful step towards elearning initiative.
Africa has witnessed consistent growth in telecommunication infrastructure. Elearning software applications such as learning management system, managed learning environment and others are flourishing. This infrastructure would be available in all regions not limited to major cities, this movement would embark large eLearning projects in the region. It has been noted earlier that there has been an apparent increase and a noticeable shift in interest in using mobiles to support and deliver learning in Africa amongst the education, corporate and ministries, and this commences a new dimension in elearning era.
I strongly foresee a growing elearning market in Africa region. There is a huge untapped potential which could entice any elearning services provider in the world. I am sure there is a piece of pie for every elearning provider who is committed to meet emerging need of elearning requirements in this region.
Hope the above explanation supports the fact that there is "Evident shift towards elearning acceptance in Africa". Keen to hear from you on your views / feedback. Do share your comments in the box below.