THE CHANGING TECHNOLOGICAL CONTEXT OF ALTERNATIVE HIGHER EDUCATION IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
Sub-Saharan Africa has lagged behind in many areas of human endeavour, as reflected in various development reports, university rankings, human development rankings, school and college enrolment ratios, digital economy rankings, and a host of others. The sub-continent's plethora of problems continue to impact on its ability to push the development agenda. Although in the UN Human Development Report for 2013, ‘The Rise of the South’ has been observed, the sub-continent’s educational development is still fraught with challenges, leading to the continuing pursuit of alternative education routes. All forms of education rely on various instructional media, and in the era of the knowledge society, an adequate technological platform is required for alternative higher education. This paper examines the technological context of alternative higher education in Sub-Saharan Africa. For some years, reports published by the Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) indicate that only developed nations are high in their digital economy rankings. While the reports published by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) also indicate this, a narrowing of the digital divide between Africa and the rest of the developed world has been observed. Against the backdrop of various submissions by the Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in the last few years, the paper explores the status of the technological platform available to alternative higher education. The paper submits that the technological context of alternative higher education is changing rapidly, and that the sub-continent’s digital economy is growing. If well utilised, the growing technological platform is capable of aiding the sub-continent’s drive towards a learning society.