Key highlights and takeaways from South African EdTech Week 2023
Updated: Nov 24
The 2023 iteration of South African EdTech Week, arranged by Injini, in partnership with Mastercard Foundation and Wesgro, yielded several key learnings for the future of education technology in Africa. The discussions that took place emphasised Africa's diversity, recognising that each country possesses unique challenges. The importance of developing technology solutions that target well-understood educational needs was therefore underlined.
Key takeaways around funding:
The need for a variety of funding options while emphasising the need for companies to identify the most suitable funding approach for their business’s life stage.
It was noted that over-reliance on grant funding should be avoided, with recommendations to explore venture capital when appropriate for building sustainable and scalable enterprises.
Seeking catalytic funding, which generates impactful benefits such as job creation and business sustainability, was underscored.
The wealth of untapped talent in African EdTech was acknowledged, highlighting that better communication is required between founders and funders to attract the investment capital that the continent deserves.
Key takeaways around collaboration:
Collaboration amongst businesses, particularly those operating in target countries, is key to facilitating market entry and synergistic solutions.
The government's willingness to partner with private firms was evident, on condition that they offer solutions that effectively address educational challenges.
Valuable data-sharing opportunities may also be on the horizon, confirming the need for cross-collaboration between key stakeholders to advance EdTech in Africa.
Key takeaways about the state of education and EdTech:
Current education systems were recognised as inadequate for preparing the youth for the technology-driven world, necessitating urgent reform.
It was noted that teacher training also requires revision to empower educators to integrate EdTech effectively, stressing that EdTech should complement, rather than replace, teachers, and should function as a tool to help teachers reach more students.