Students working with robotics at Ashesi University in Ghana

The Mastercard Foundation has selected 12 fellows for its inaugural EdTech challenge that will benefit from the Centre's support to expand their operations and improve secondary teaching and learning across the continent.

Firms selected include Rwanda's O'Genius Priority, iCog Labs from Ethiopia, M-Shule, Kytabu Limited and Litemore from Kenya.

Others are Chalkboard Education from Ghana, HITCH from Nigeria, Siyavula Education and Instill Education from South Africa.

The Fellows were selected after Africa-wide proposal requests late last year where innovators were invited to submit proposals that either minimise out-of-classroom time for teachers or create and deliver enriched learning content that improves quality and relevance for secondary school learners.

Head of the Mastercard Foundation Centre for Innovative Teaching and Learning in ICT Joseph Nsengimana said these companies are working to expand the use of ICT to address some of the most pressing issues facing education in Africa today.

''We will give them access to the customised mentoring and financial support they need over the next year so that they can test, refine, and validate their products. With that, they can grow their businesses and help to improve learning outcomes throughout Africa,'' Nsengimana said.

Selected companies will receive a comprehensive package over the next year that includes customized mentorship, financial support, the opportunity to test, validate and scale their business, and a $40, 000 grant to aid in the development of their solutions.

Peter Materu, Chief Program Officer at the Mastercard Foundation, termed the announcement of those fellows as a milestone moment in the work the firm is carrying out in Africa.

''Bringing together these talented entrepreneurs and supporting them as they innovate to drive excellence in teaching and learning offers new opportunities with great potential to raise the bar in African education and benefit tens of millions of students,'' Materu said.

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