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The Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) is set to announce its latest initiative: a technology cluster aimed at the education space.
The initiative, which is CiTi is calling an African first, will be announced at EdTechx Europe, currently underway in London.
According to a press release sent to Ventureburn, the cluster/incubator will aim to spur greater innovation in education and skills development in the Western Cape and also across South Africa and the wider continent.
The organisation says it will give home-grown entrepreneurs the facilities, expert advice and introductions to funding they need to take their grassroots solutions national or even global.
They will reportedly be given access to African and international experts to get the expertise they need to grow their business and increase their impact.
The announcement of the cluster, which will have physical space inside the Bandwidth Barn as well as a virtual component for startups across the African continent, coincides with the 40th anniversary of the Soweto Uprising, an event in which South African youth challenged the existing regime in a fight for fair and inclusive education.
CiTi’s partner in exploring the cluster/incubator will be Jamie Martin, former Special Adviser to the UK Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove. Jamie specialised on education for the Boston Consulting Group in London and the Middle East, and worked in venture capital focused on African education companies.
“Whilst on the one hand South Africa has a massive youth unemployment problem, on the other business’s struggle to find staff with skills which are appropriate for the new economy,” says CiTi CEO Ian Merrington. “Technology can assist to scale and leverage expert knowledge, teachers and programmes in order to reach and upskill many more people than would be the case in a conventional classroom.”
“The number of individuals, NGOs, private companies and government departments that are seeking solutions to Africa’s education problems highlights that education is in everyone’s hands to solve”, says Alethea Hagemann, Head of Skills at CiTi,
The ed-tech cluster is the latest initiative in a series of initiatives by to come out of CiTi in the past few months. This week, it also announced a partnership with Media24, aimed at growing developer talent for the Naspers-owned publisher.
And since its fintech cluster opened in December last year, it has been widely lauded for the work it’s done in fostering a culture of collaboration between the startups within it.