Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship at Injini
April 14, 2023, CAPE TOWN: Mastercard Foundation and Injini are pleased to announce the first cohort of 12 EdTech companies participating in the inaugural Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship at Injini. Injini is part of an Africa-wide network of partners implementing the Mastercard Foundation Fellowship to support growth-stage EdTech start-ups as they seek to improve learning outcomes.
Education technology (EdTech) has the potential to significantly bolster the educational landscape in South Africa. With literacy rates showing little improvement, and math and science results on the decline, solutions are urgently needed and, fortunately, these entrepreneurs have identified this need and are working tirelessly to provide innovative solutions.
“We saw many promising applicants during the selection process for our Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship Program,” says Krista Davidson, Executive Director of Injini. “It was not an easy process to narrow down the applicants from hundreds to these 12 Fellows, as there are many impressive EdTech solutions operating and making a real difference to learners across the country. We are confident that we will be able to work with each one individually to grow their impact and improve educational outcomes in South Africa.”
The 12 Fellows are:
- Afrika Tikkun Bambanani strives to provide South African children with access to quality education by standardizing the ECD curriculum. The organization collaborates with renowned researchers and educators to equip children with specialized educational tools.
- Ambani Africa through the use of augmented reality, animation, and gamification, has successfully developed learner-focused products for language learning. They offer a free language app that currently offers six African language options.
- BuzzKidz Buzz-in-a-Box (BIAB), is an EdTech solution that helps South African teachers provide creative arts education to learners. Backed by research on play-based learning, the platform offers a comprehensive curriculum covering music, drama, and dance.
- Click Learning is an NGO that helps underserved primary schools in South Africa improve foundational literacy, numeracy, and digital skills through the deployment of relevant online programs.
- Digify Africa is a chat-based learning platform that delivers interactive micro-learning through WhatsApp to low-income users in Africa. Lessons are accessible to learners wherever and whenever they want and at their own pace.
- FunDza Literacy Trust is a ‘library on a phone’ where readers, writers, and course participants can connect with FunDza through a mobile-friendly and data-light site. The platform publishes reading and writing materials that ignite a love of reading, specifically aimed at teens and young adults who have never previously identified as readers.
- Matric Live is a multifunctional education app with interactive lessons, gamification of learning, and an exam simulation feature for practising exam-like questions.
- Reflective Learning is a data-driven solution that helps teachers identify learning gaps and provides personalised learning pathways to empower learners to catch up on their backlogs.
- Resolute Education provides robotics and coding programs for schools and tertiary institutions. These programs follow the CAPS curriculum, include SACE-accredited teacher training and support, offer cost-effective robotics kits, and an LMS for educators and learners.
- Yenza offers smart career technology that combines the latest in psychometrics, data science and intelligent design to intuitively guide and recommend successful career pathway journeys for individuals.
- Zaio is an online platform that provides highly interactive educational content on digital skills like coding, including on-demand live support, at a fraction of the expected cost.
The Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship is an initiative of the Mastercard Foundation Centre for Innovative Teaching and Learning (CITL) that partners with technology and innovation hubs and EdTech accelerators across Africa to support promising, growth-stage EdTech ventures with the potential for scale and impact. Mastercard Foundation is pleased to be partnering with Injini to implement this important initiative in South Africa to improve outcomes for hundreds of thousands of learners. The Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship was launched in 2019 and supported 12 African EdTech companies from 7 countries in its first year. Collectively, these companies have reached over 800,000 learners to date.
The Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship at Injini will provide selected startups with direct funding support, product quality evaluation and certification, intensive skills development, coaching and mentorship, bespoke market research, and market access through Injini’s network of stakeholders across the education innovation landscape.
The fellowship specifically focuses on the following key objectives:
- Facilitate market access with a lens to increase reach to beneficiaries at the “bottom of the pyramid.”
- Design and implement, or refine, impact measurement, monitoring, and evaluation systems.
- Improve financial sustainability, including investment readiness support, where appropriate.
Joseph Nsengimana, Director of The Mastercard Foundation Centre for Innovative Teaching and Learning, adds: “The cohort of twelve Fellows selected by Injini and other partners are examples of the most promising educational technology solutions in South Africa. Through our combined support, these entrepreneurs will be empowered to scale their innovations and effect positive change in teaching and learning across the country. We eagerly anticipate the impact these companies will have on learning outcomes in the months and years to come.”
“As South Africa faces mounting challenges in the education sector, Injini is thrilled to work with the Mastercard Foundation and our other partners to support these businesses that have the potential to drive significant change in this field,” concludes Krista Davidson, Executive Director, Injini.
Click here for more information on the program. If you wish to interview Krista Davidson or any of the Fellows, please contact:
Injini is a registered Non-Profit Company that exists for the sole purpose of improving educational outcomes in sub-Saharan Africa. The company was founded in 2017 and remains the only EdTech specialised accelerator in Africa. Injini’s various programmes and research via the Injini Think Tank all contribute towards its mission to increase the quality, accessibility, and relevance of education in the region. Injini is a member of the UVU Africa Group.
For more information on Injini, please visit https://www.injini.africa/
About the Mastercard Foundation
The Mastercard Foundation works with visionary organizations to enable young people in Africa and in indigenous communities in Canada to access dignified and fulfilling work. It is one of the largest private foundations in the world with a mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. It was established in 2006 through the generosity of Mastercard when it became a public company. The Foundation is independent, and its policies, operations, and program decisions are determined by its own Board of Directors and senior leadership team. It is a registered Canadian charity with offices in Toronto, Kigali, Accra, Nairobi, Kampala, Lagos, Dakar, and Addis Ababa.