Saide and OER Africa would like to extend their deepest condolences to Professor Tolly Mbwette’s family and friends.

Professor Mbwette was the former Vice Chancellor of the Open University of Tanzania.

We are particularly grateful for Prof Mbwette’s contribution to Saide’s OER Africa initiative to promote use of OER in African universities. He participated actively in the inception gathering for OER Africa in 2008 and in subsequent reviews and strategic planning meetings. He was always available to provide support and advice to the initiative, as well as being a generous and convivial dinner companion. 

In one phase of the initiative, he facilitated the commitment of the Open University of Tanzania’s to developing “Academic Digital Fluency” courses as open educational resources. These are available here.

Prof Mbwete was passionate and a great proponent for open learning and distance education in Africa. He firmly believed that distance universities have to play a very active role in expanding access to higher education in Africa. He served in a number of institutions and capacities at continental level to advance his belief and conviction on distance education.

He served as Vice Chairperson of the Executive Board of the African Council for Distance Education (ACDE) between July 2008 and July 2011 as well as one of the two Vice Chairpersons of the IUCEA Governing Board from July 2008 to June 2010. 

From September 2009, Prof Mbwette was an Honorary Advisor to the Commonwealth of Learning (COL).  In July 2011, he was elected as the President of ACDE for a period of three (3) years

The late Prof Mbwette will be sorely missed by the open and distance education community in African for his passion and commitment. His brilliance, humility and quest to achieve universal education transformed distance and open education. He left a legacy of achieving universal access to high quality higher education in Africa.