Education in Africa is still not where it needs to be for the continent to cater to its bustling young population. In Ethiopia—the second most populous country in Africa—the government has had to lower the university cut-off mark in order to fill up its universities after only 3.3% of nearly 1 million students passed the 50% cut-off mark. In Nigeria, students have been in and out of universities due to incessant strikes for the past decade and beyond.
In solving the education problem in Africa, Co-Creation Hub (CcHUB) with its presence in Nigeria and Kenya is launching an accelerator with a focus on ed-tech. The accelerator which will be called the EdTech Fellowship Program will commit $15 million to support 72 startups in Nigeria and Kenya in the next three years. The program would give the startups an initial $100,000 check after being accepted into the program.
According to TechCrunch, CcHUB will go beyond backing the startups financially and ensure that the startups drive learning outcomes. The incubator plans to achieve this with the help of an in-house research team that will work with the startups and test their products from launch to scale.
Accelerators are known for offering full support to startups, and CcHUB is not different in its approach. The accelerator will provide expert support across product development, government relations, pedagogy and learning science, portfolio management, communication, instructional design and community building to the selected startups.
Bosun Tijani, CcHUB’s CEO, told TechCrunch, “Over the next three years, we will have 72 edtech companies launched into the market. We believe this will kickstart the ecosystem and reboot it afresh because out of that number, at least you’re sure about half or 20-30% of them would live for another three to four years. And that will allow us to know if technology can truly work for education in Africa.”
According to Tijani, there is also a provision for follow-on investment to the tune of $50 million that will cater to the seed and Series A stages for the startups, to which an anchor investor has already contributed $5 million towards.