The Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) is set to launch Africa’s first EdTech cluster and incubator.
The official announcement of the launch will be made on Youth Day, June 16, in London at Europe’s biggest EdTech conference, EdTechXEurope 2016, and coincides with the 40th anniversary of the Soweto Uprising. In South Africa and the wider continent, better education is seen as key to building a better future. Today, governments face huge resource and delivery problems. Entrepreneurs are stepping forward to solve these problems with innovative and effective tech solutions.
Spurring innovation in education
The cluster/incubator will build on CiTi’s successful Fintech cluster, and its highly acclaimed skills development and job readiness programme, CapaCiTi. It aims to spur greater innovation in education and skills development in the Western Cape and also across South Africa and the wider continent. It will give home-grown entrepreneurs the facilities, expert advice and introductions to funding they need to take their grassroots solutions national or even global. They will be given access to African and international experts to get the expertise they need to grow their business and increase their impact.
The cluster will have physical space at the Bandwidth Barn, and also virtual membership allowing EdTech start-ups from all around Africa to get the support they need to raise standards in schools, universities and adult skills.
Partnering to upskill
CiTi’s partner in exploring the cluster/incubator will be Jamie Martin, former Special Advisor to the UK Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove. Martin specialised in education for the Boston Consulting Group in London and the Middle East, and worked in venture capital focused on African education companies.
Technology can assist to scale and leverage expert knowledge, teachers and programmes in order to reach and upskill many more people than would be the case in a conventional classroom.
Ian Merrington CEO of CiTi says: “Whilst on the one hand South Africa has a massive youth unemployment problem, on the other business’s struggle to find staff with skills which are appropriate for the new economy. Technology can assist to scale and leverage expert knowledge, teachers and programmes in order to reach and upskill many more people than would be the case in a conventional classroom.”
“The number of individuals, NGOs, private companies and government departments that are seeking solutions to Africa’s education problems highlights that education is in everyone’s hands to solve”, says Alethea Hagemann, Head of Skills at CiTi, “We are excited to support entities that are doing great work in this field, and assisting them in transforming education throughout Africa. Our recent successful partnership with Media24 to launch the Hub@Media24 is testimony to private enterprise commitment to both skills development and partnerships.”