CcHUB, a well-known African innovation hub, has announced plans to launch The Edtech Fellowship Program, which will provide $15 million in funding to edtech firms in Nigeria and Kenya.
The program’s goal is to develop a new ecosystem of edtech businesses that will shape the future of the education solutions industry.
According to Bosun Tinjani, Co-founder and CEO of CcHUB, “if we invest intentionally in a very structured edtech inclusive ecosystem of government, teachers, investors, foundations, and, in some cases, students and their parents, we believe that we can begin to gain a better understanding of how to use technology to improve learning in schools.”
Many African youngsters continue to be denied access to school. While Africa’s tech ecosystem has evolved significantly in recent years, no solution that has made a meaningful difference in the quality of education in Africa has been developed.
According to this article, the quality could be better even when children have access to education.
While education is a universal human right and an issue of public good and responsibility, the lack of it in Africa has created a commercial opportunity, according to market research store, Research and Markets, the African e-learning market reached a value of $ 2.47 billion in 2021.
Africa already has startups taking advantage of this market, but the issues with education in Africa persist. Edtech solutions will need an unconventional solution to increase access to education.
Tijani further emphasises the need to include more stakeholders in the process of building edtech platforms by saying, “It is important that when we build a programme that not only finds the smartest people in the startup ecosystem but also connects the startup ecosystem with government authorities, public sectors, schools, and academic institutions so that we can ensure that there’s a clear understanding of how to scale education solutions in the space.”
He also noted that the $15 million accelerator programme will not just back any startup with apparent solutions.
To ensure this, a team of 30 researchers will be tasked with working with portfolio startups and testing their products from launch to scale.
There is also a mechanism for follow-on investment outside the accelerator programme, which will provide diversification and reduce the risk for seed or Series A investors. Tijani stated that the $50 million edtech fund CcHUB plans to launch within the next 12 to 24 months will provide the follow-on capital.
He also stated that the innovation hub is in discussions with telcos like Safaricom and MTN to explore arrangements that could see them act as both investors in the fund and distribution partners for the portfolio of edtech solutions held by the Fellowship.