South Africa: Foondamate offers education assistance leveraging bot and AI technologies

By : Adoni Conrad Quenum

Date : mercredi, 09 novembre 2022 12:46

Despite public authorities’ efforts, not everyone has access to education in Africa. Tech entrepreneurs are entering the field, leveraging digital solutions to bring education to everyone. 

Foondamate is a study chatbot developed by a South African eponymous startup. The chatbot allows users access to online courses. The startup behind the bot was founded, in 2020, to help students access study materials. 

"At FoondaMate, we believe talent is equally distributed yet opportunities are not. There are often competing factors that contribute to educational inequality – not just in Africa, but across the world – and our technology is helping to universally address these," said Dacod Magagula, CEO and co-founder of FoondaMate, the startup behind the chatbot. 

The chatbot can be accessed on WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.  The bot, which speaks 13 languages (French, English, Sesotho, afrikaans, setswana, etc.), usually asks questions to assess first-time users’ education level. Then, they can assess the education materials and support they want. Among other things, they can download documents and memos, find solutions to maths problems and ask the meaning of words they don’t understand. 

The startup claims more than 900,000 users in about 30 countries. "It's humbling to think that so many learners trust us to support their desire to learn, and that's a responsibility we take incredibly seriously," CEO Magagula indicated earlier this year when the startup raised US$2 million to accelerate its expansion. 

Adoni Conrad Quenum


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