This report is a review of the literature on current developments and prospects in the field of open and distance learning in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

Education is seen as a major impetus behind fundamental change or transformation in many societies. This transformation is multi-dimensional in the sense that changes occur across various domains, including the political, cultural, social, economic, individual (intellectual) and technological.

In modern Sub-Saharan African societies, the major agent effecting the process of education has been the traditional education system, whose distinguishing features are face-to-face interaction between teachers and learners, structured courses of study, fixed locations for learning, fixed time-tables and a system of certification. Many nations throughout SSA have realised the paramount significance of this formal education, and have made very serious efforts to provide human and material resources for the purposes of educating the citizenry in this way.

However, for various important reasons that fall outside of the scope of this report, none of the countries in SSA have fulfilled the promise of providing education to the entire population through the conventional education system.