__”…If you’re determined to learn, no one can stop you!”
One day my wife told me that she was concerned about two issues for which she wanted an urgent solution…
#1. The cost of books, particularly for university students.
She told me that books for courses like medicine and law are so expensive that they exceed the cost of the tuition.
“Is there a way we can solve this problem?” she asked.
I put a little team together at Econet to look into the problem. They solved her problem, and gave us a new business idea: We call the business EcoSchool. Essentially we negotiate with the publishers of books and get them to release to us eBooks, and we then make them available to students at up to 50% of their retail value. You can learn more about EcoSchool by visiting: www.ecoschool.co.zw
#2. Access to books and other materials at primary and high school.
This was really tricky because books used in primary and high schools are generally not available in digital format. We decided to digitize primary and high school books in Zimbabwe, and also the entire school curriculum. This would allow us to develop teaching support material for students and teachers.
The platform we created is called Ruzivo, and now has more than one million students who access the platform, primarily using desktop computers, tablets and mobile phones!
This means that a third of Zimbabwe’s total student population of 3,2 million has registered for Ruzivo. Almost 500,000 are using it on a daily basis. More than 16,000 primary and high school teachers are also registered. Right now it covers 24 subjects and counting.
If you are a parent, student, teacher or school administrator, check it out at https://www.ruzivodigitallearning.co.zw/
In this case technology is helping us to democratize the quality of education.
Teachers and schools have enthusiastically embraced this support system throughout the country including some of the most rural students.
Now that we have “proof of concept” through the Zimbabwe market, we are preparing to roll out these educational services in other African countries. Several African governments have even sent representatives to see this educational revolution that we have started:
#EcoSchool for university educational support; and
#Ruzivo for primary and high school scholars.
I believe now is just the beginning of an education revolution that will sweep Africa.
Thank you to all who shared your own education ventures with me here a few weeks ago. There’s so much good happening on this continent! We’ll talk more about this in the months to come. Starting at the town hall in Ghana on Tuesday…
If you’re near Accra on 13 March, good news! We just made available a few more seats, and you can RSVP here (if you are quick): http://bit.ly/Accra2018_Townhall
Everyone else, you are welcome to join us LIVE on Facebook at 2 pm Ghana time:
As I mentioned last week, I will be joined by Prof Peter Salovey (President of Yale University), Dr Patrick Awuah (founder and President Ashesi University), and Elizabeth Elango-Bintliff (President and CEO of Junior Achievement Africa). Our conversation on the Power of Partnership in Strengthening Education will be chaired by Prof Ebenezer Oduro Owusu at the University of Ghana. #AfripreneurTalk!
“If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you!”