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ÅF: World Bank sets up a global distance learning network with help from ÅF-International

It is hoped that Swedish companies and organisations will also use the network.
ÅF-International's involvement in the project bears witness to the fact that Swedish IT competence is fully on a par with that anywhere in the world and that Swedish consultants are much in demand for worldwide IT projects.

Satellite links and the latest IT technology provide this network with unique opportunities for interactivity and education of a high pedagogic quality. This, in combination with the participation of some of the world's leading educational institutions and establishments, will provide developing countries with fast-track access to the latest advances in research and development. In the initial phase of the project, a global network comprising 15 education centres will commence operations in June of this year. These centres are now being established in Europe (Spain and France), Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and the USA.

The World Bank has commissioned ÅF-International, together with some of the world's leading names in IT and distance learning, to contribute to the creation of this unique network, supplying among a raft of other services, expertise in the areas of project management, training, logistics, project evaluation and IT.

ÅF-International has many years' experience of work with management training, both out in the field in developing countries and at home in Sweden for groups of managers from these developing countries. Moreover, the ÅF Group will be able to contribute unique competence in IT and technology in many of the different educational modules.

The first management training sessions for the managers of the various centres are now taking place in New Delhi, India. Klas Ljungberg, the International Training Manager at ÅF-International, has been sent there at the request of the World Bank to evaluate the training process.

- It is of paramount importance that the management teams for the various centres in the global network are provided with a common platform for their work and for the challenges that lie ahead. The role of the ÅF Group is to ensure that these initial training sessions give both the managers who are participating in them and their organisations back home in the various countries and regions, the knowledge that they need.

In the near future ÅF will also be arranging a workshop for evaluating the success of these initial training sessions and for exchanging ideas and experiences. This will be done with, for example, the help of the Internet from West Africa, and, in conjunction with this, a follow-up training session will also be held for those centres representing the French-speaking countries of Africa.