How did the program come about?

A Challenge

Attempting to achieve the UN’s Millenium Development Goals (MDG) for education in Africa, i.e. contributing to enrolling all African children in school by 2015 and taking part in the fight against illiteracy.

France committed to taking part in this goal during the Franco-British Summit in March 2008.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy entrusted former government minister Alain Madelin with the task of taking up this challenge and implementing this commitment.

An idea

The idea consisted of thinking that the revolution in digital education currently developing throughout the world, could help to meeting this challenge, since hardware costs would fall and digital teaching resources would be unrestricted and free to access, furthermore since they are created and shared by everyone and with everyone.

It was on these concepts that the Sankoré program was presented and validated during the meeting on digital solidarity in the service of education held in January 2009 in Bamako, around the Heads of State of Mali and Senegal and the governmental representatives of many African countries.

In this context, the French government has set up an Interministerial Delegation for Digital Education in Africa (DIENA) and a Public Interest Grouping for Digital Education in Africa (GIP ENA) in order to implement the multi-year program for developing the digital educational revolution in many African partner countries.


Timeline of the Sankoré


  • March 27, 2008: Franco-British Summit. The United Kingdom and France decide to act together in the context of initiatives regarding international development: “Together, we expect to build a new partnership to enroll 16 million African students in school by 2010 and all children by 2015 (…)” June 6, 2008: French President Nicolas Sarkozy tasks former government minister Alain Madelin with implementing the declaration of the Franco-British Summit.
  • August 25-28, 2008: First digital summer university at Hammamet (Tunisia). Birth of the Digital Education for all in Africa project, bringing together 18 delegations from national education ministries from French-speaking African countries.
  • November 24, 2008: International Conference on Digital Solidarity in Lyon. This conference followed up on the World Summits on the Information Society in 2003 and 2005 in Geneva and Tunis, which resulted in the creation of the Fund and the World Digital Solidarity Agency. The “Sankoré” site plans to combine the digital resources around IWBs.


  • January 27, 2009: Meeting on digital solidarity in the service of education and development in Bamako. Presentation of the Sankoré digital education for all in Africa program to the Heads of State of Mali and Senegal, as well as the members of governments of African countries.


  • January 22, 2010: A decree (No.2010-85) institutes an interministerial delegate for digital education in Africa.
  • February 23, 2010: Albert-Claude Benhamou, university professor, is named interministerial delegate for digital education in Africa.
  • May 31 - June 1, 2010: 25th Africa-France Summit in Nice. The Interministerial Delegation for Digital Education in Africa (DIENA) officially presents the Sankoré project to many heads of state and government. Signing of the first Sankoré memorandum of understanding with Amadou Toumani Touré, Malian Head of State on May 31.
  • July 14, 2010: Celebration of the “Fiftieth Anniversaries of Independence. A Sankoré Digital Class is presented to 14 African heads of state present in Paris for the Celebration of Bastille Day and the “Fiftieth Anniversaries of Independence.
  • October 15, 2010: signing of a memorandum of understanding with Senegal.
  • October 26-27, 2010: First conventions of decentralized Francophony in Lyon. The Sankoré program is presented by Alain Madelin, President of GIP ENA (Public Interest Grouping for Digital Education in Africa).
  • November 23, 2010: the Uniboard program is purchased by GIP ENA and its source codes are made open.
  • November 25, 2010: sankoré.org site goes online.
  • November 25-28, 2010: the Sankoré software suite is hailed at the 12 European Education Show in Paris.
  • December 16, 2010: official presentation of the Sankoré program during a reception at the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.
  • December 22, 2010: signing of a memorandum of understanding with Mauritius.


  • January 12-15, 2011: the Sankoré and the Sankoré software program are presented to the general public and English-speaking digital education professionals at the British Educational Training and Technology Show (BETT) in London.
  • March 23-24, 2011: organized by the CRDP and Aix-Marseille Academy, the 2011 edition of the ORME Meetings is the occasion to present the Sankoré program.
  • April 5-7, 2011: on the occasion of the Political Base of the Mayors of the Metropolitan Paris Region (AMIF), the Sankoré is shown off to towns, and digital educational pairing partnerships are signed between metropolitan Paris region and African towns.
  • April 16-17, 2011: the Sankoré program is presented on the occasion of the unrestricted software days of the Nantes CRDP at Angers.
  • April 20, 2011: first official Sankoré Digital Classes are given in Mauritius.
  • April 26, 2011: signing of a partnership agreement with Haiti Futur.
  • May 10-12, 2011: the Sankoré software suite receives an enthusiastic welcome at the 12th edition of the Linux/Open Source Solutions Show.
  • May 25-27, 2011: Sankoré at the 6th eLearning Africa conference, the main event on the continent in the area of ICTs in the service of education.
  • June 1, 2011: presentation of the Sankoré software to the CRDP of the Versailles Academy during the Unrestricted Software Interstice.
  • June 2-3, 2011: reception and installation of 350 Sankoré Digital Classes in Senegal.
  • June 8-10, 2011: training class for educators from Madagascar, the Comoros and Benin in DIENA facilities.
  • June 24, 2011: signing of a memorandum of understanding between CNED and DIENA for jointly implementing the Sankoré program.
  • June 29-July 1, 2011: reception and installation of the first Sankoré Digital Classes in Mali.
  • July 11-14, 2011: Sankoré at the 12th World Meetings of Unrestricted Software (RMLL) taking place in Strasbourg.
  • July 20, 2011: signing of a memorandum of understanding with Madagascar.
  • August 29-September 1, 2011: The summer Universities of Ludovia and Ax-les-Therms welcome Sankoré.
  • September 17, 2011: signing of a memorandum of understanding with Burkina Faso and presentation of the first Sankoré Digital Classes.
  • October 7, 2011: Sankoré at the General Council of the Manche during the 4th edition of the "les Afrikales" festival.
  • October 18, 2011: presentation of Sankoré Digital Classes in Côte-d'Ivoire at the Bingerville Preparatory technical military school (EMPT) by the director of security and defense cooperation (DCSD) for the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, General Bruno Clément-Bollée.
  • November 9, 2011: Lille Métropole presents the Sankoré pairings to elected officials and association representatives of its 83 towns on the occasion of International Solidarity Week.
  • November 15-16 2011: DIENA organizes the first International university research seminar on digital education at the national Arts and Trades Conservatory (CNAM).
  • November 23-25, 2011: the Sankoré program and the Open-Sankoré at the Educatec-Educatrice Show .

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