Mastercard Foundation awards $40k grant funding to 12 African ed-tech startups

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The Mastercard Foundation has selected 12 African ed-tech startups to receive grant funding of US$40,000 each as well as support in expanding their operations across the continent. 

Run by the foundation’s Centre for Innovative Teaching and Learning in Information, Communications, and Technology (ICT), the fellows were selected after an Africa-wide request for proposals late last year. 

The programme was seeking innovators with solutions that enhance and increase accessibility and affordability of professional development for in-service teachers, and create and deliver enriched learning content.

Twelve companies have now been selected as fellows. They will each receive a comprehensive package over the next year that includes customised mentorship, financial support, the opportunity to test, validate and scale their business, and a US$40,000 grant to aid in the development of their solutions. 

Four of the selected companies are Kenyan, namely mobile learning platforms M-Shule, Kytabu and Eneza Education, and mobile-first data management solution Litemore. Another three are South African: customised online learning platform Siyavula, and teacher-training platforms Instill Education and Zibuza.

Learning management platform Chalkboard Education and translation service AkooBooks represent Ghana, while the rest of the cohort comprises Rwandan laboratory experiments platform O’Genius Priority, Ethiopian coding school iCog Labs, and Nigerian educational video platform HITCH.

“The announcement of these first fellows at the Centre for Innovative Teaching and Learning is a milestone moment in the work we are carrying out in Africa. Bringing together these talented entrepreneurs and supporting them as they innovate to drive excellence in teaching and learning offers new opportunities with great potential to raise the bar in African education and benefit tens of millions of students,” said Peter Materu, chief programme officer at the Mastercard Foundation.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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