Although OER means different things to different people, we believe that it can make some of the following key contributions to African education:
- Increase the availability of relevant, need-targeted learning materials and support more productive learners and educators;
- Reduce the cost of access to educational materials by removing copying restrictions;
- Encourage educator participation in relevant course design through adapting or developing materials for learning programmes that are pertinent to African contexts and learners;
- Encourage educator and learner participation in relevant course delivery through use of appropriate technologies and acquisition of the skills necessary to move away from lecture-based teaching; and
- Build capacity for learning through collaborative partnerships and communities of practice, both within and across educational systems and organizations.
In short, OER initiatives can build capacity in African education by providing educators free or low-cost access to tools, content and communities of practice. These in turn can support them to develop and/or adapt educational materials and integrate them into high quality courses and programmes. Through such processes, both educators and learners will benefit from improved and collaborative delivery of education.