This website developed out of a growing set of SSA-ECD initiatives, each of which has its own site. As these initiatives are complementary, it was deemed useful to 'connect' them through an overarching site: ECD in Africa. The unifying purpose of the three initiatives has been to promote ECD capacity in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). It is anticipated that this site, and others, will be included in overarching SSA network websites as they evolve.
The oldest of the three initiatives is the Early Childhood Development Virtual University (ECDVU). The ECDVU program focuses primarily on ECD professional capacity in governmental and non-governmental institutions throughout SSA. The development of the ECDVU is closely associated with the launch of an African ECD International Conference series in 1999, which over time (2002, 2005, 2009) greatly strengthened the political and advocacy aspects of ECD in SSA.
The African Scholars and Institutions (AS&I) initiative was launched in 2008, with an objective to expand the professional, political and advocacy activities already underway with enhanced post-secondary education and research capacities. A number of writing, research and workshop activities have been undertaken through the AS&I, with many of them described in the News-Journal, Africa ECD Voice, with four editions in 2013 and 2014 (see Resources).
A third key initiative has been the development of an ECD Resources in SSA Compendium (ECDR-SSA). The Compendium contains over 800 references to child development and ECD resources focusing on sub-Saharan Africa. That project is the result of a CIDA (now Global Affairs Canada) funded partnership between the ECDVU program, University of Victoria, Canada, and the Aga Khan University’s Institute for Educational Development (AKU-IED) based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. While UVic-ECDVU took the lead in developing the SSA-ECD Compendium, the AKU-IED took the lead in developing a country-specific resource - Tuwaendeleze Watoto Wetu.
ECD in Africa