A project that aims to encourage children to learn through animated learning media has been shortlisted among the top ten finalists in an ongoing French competition for innovative African educational projects.
Rwandan Confident Niyizibyose, co-founder and managing director of “Augmented Future Ltd”, has used augmented reality technologies to create an application through which a student can scan a book and learn by watching the content in the form of cartoons.
The project targets pupils in grades 1 to 6 and so far has provided English and math learning materials.
“Augmented Future” and the other nine finalists are competing for a grant of €15,000 (around Rwf 17 million) in an international competition organized by France Medias Monde (FMM).
FMM is a French company that supervises and coordinates the activities of major public media broadcasting or publishing internationally. They include; Radio France Internationale (RFI), France 24 and Monte Carlo Doualiya (MCD).
The “Challenge App Africa” competition started in October 2021, and the winner is expected to be announced in March 2022 while the 10 finalists will benefit from personalized and rigorous support for four months in an incubator in their respective countries.
According to a press release from this competition, it aims to stimulate innovation by promoting the development of the know-how and expertise of developers of all levels (beginners as well as experts in IT development) in particular for mobile in Africa, by bringing out digital services in the context of children’s education.
Niyizibyose, 23, said being shortlisted is a sign that there are people out there who understand the importance of what they do and their vision.
If he wins, he said, the grant will allow him to improve his content so he can reach all elementary school students across the country and beyond.
The software application was launched in the market in February 2021, he said, and “since then we have had about 1000 downloads, which means that at least in a month about 300 people are using our application. “.
According to him, it can be downloaded on smart gadgets that use the Android operating system, and the book’s materials can be accessed from Imagine we Rwanda, a local publishing house.
Niyizibyose said that technology has facilitated the way of life, in different sectors such as health, education, among others. However, startup ecosystems in Rwanda face the challenge of funding and skilled manpower.
“Having a technology-based product ready for the market requires at least two years, it is difficult to find someone who can trust you and invest in you during the process so that you pay the necessary expenses,” he said. -he declares.
He also observed that there is still a shortage of skilled digital labor, but with the progress the country has made in terms of technology, he believes things will change in the coming years.