Updated Oct 22, 2019

Ubongo: Edutainment Made in Africa, for Africa

We leverage the power of entertainment, the reach of mass media and the deep insights of kid-centered design to bring fun, localized edutainment to millions of kids in Africa.

http://www.ubongo.org

Nisha Ligon

Stage 5: Scaling

We broadcast on Free-To-Air TV and radio in 9 African countries, in 4 languages, with 5 more African languages in development and 11 million monthly viewers. We're expanding our operational footprint & building revenue streams for sustainability.

Registered in Tanzania.

Focus Areas:

Cognitive Development, Social Development, Communications and Media and 3 MoreSEE ALL

Cognitive Development, Social Development, Communications and Media, Education, Basic Education and Social and Behavior ChangeSEE LESS

Implemented In:

Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda and 5 MoreSEE ALL

Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, South Africa, Nigeria, Malawi and ZambiaSEE LESS

11,200,000
Lives Impacted to Date
2
Key Partners
8
Countries Implemented In
11,200,000
Customers
34
Employees
$1,620,000
Funds Raised to Date
Verified Funding
?

Problem

There is an education crisis in Africa, and most of the 440 million kids on the continent stand to miss out on the life-changing opportunity of a quality education. The problem starts from the earliest years, with 44% of children aged 3-4 in Africa experiencing low cognitive of social emotional development. They enter school with insufficient learning readiness, then the problems compound from there.

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Solution

Ubongo brings kids and their families a fun new way to learn, on the technology that they already have. We produce top quality educational media programs in local languages and distribute them through accessible technologies including TV, radio and mobile phones, to bring effective, localized learning to African families at low cost and massive scale. We entertain kids to learn and love learning: building brains, and building change.

Target Beneficiaries

We are scaling and aim to make our fun learning available to all 440 million kids in Africa, via whatever technologies they can access. Currently we focus on families with radio or TV and aim to reach 30 million monthly users in 2021... while also reaching the most rural and vulnerable families through our rural distribution and implementation partners.

Mission and Vision

Our mission is to use top quality, localized edutainment to help Africa's 440 million kids learn, and leverage their learning to change their lives. Our vision is to equip Africa’s next generation with the educational foundation, critical skills and positive mindsets to change their own lives and communities for the better.

Innovation Description

Ubongo brings kids and their families a fun new way to learn, on the technology that they already have. We work toward our mission and vision through a comprehensive process of thorough human-centered research, powerful storytelling, distribution at massive scale, and rigorous impact analysis. We work directly with kids and caregivers to develop and deliver content that has a real impact in their lives. We know that kids learn best when they’re highly engaged and having fun! Our edutainment uses engaging storylines in local languages, catchy songs, beautiful animation and beloved characters to educate and entertain kids.

Competitive Advantage

We produce our content in Africa, for Africa, and we are currently Africa's top producers of edutainment. We involve kids in our design process to craft super sticky stories and brands. Our content is fun, local and educationally effective, and designed to be rapidly adaptable to new languages and platforms. We have a first mover advantage in African edutainment, and a 11 million strong audience who love our characters and know our brand.

Planned Goals and Milestones

We're currently adapting Akili and Me and Ubongo Kids to 9 languages for distribution across Sub-Saharan Africa. We're also working on new interactive learning apps and new show concepts to deepen kids' learning!
Funding Goal2,600,000
Projected Cumulative Lives Impacted30,000,000
New Implemented CountriesEthiopia, Congo, Democratic Republic of the, South Africa
RecruitChief Operating Officer, Country Managers in Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and Reps in other key markets, M&E Manager
New FeatureNew Pan-African fun learning series, Android Apps, Interactive Voice Response content for basic mobiles

The Team Behind the Innovation

Ubongo develops Africa's most beloved edutainment in-house... from curriculum and scripts to final animation. Our Pan-African team of educationalists, producers, animators and business professional is deeply committed to transforming learning for kids in Africa. We're a female led company, led by CEO, Nisha Ligon (award winning educational media producer and social entrepreneur), Chief Business Officer, Doreen Kessy (Acumen Fellow & WEF Global Shaper) and Chief Product Officer, Christina Bwana.

EXECUTIVE TEAM INCLUDES WOMEN AND YOUTH

Milestones

Mar 2019
Recognition ReceivedPENDING
TITLENext Billion Edtech Prize
ORGANIZATIONVarkey FoundationVarkey Foundation
as part of
Global Education and Skills Forum
Mar 2019
Recognition ReceivedPENDING
TITLEApplicant
Jan 2014
New Product or Service
Launched Ubongo Kids edu-cartoon in Tanzania
Jan 2013
New Country Implemented In
Tanzania
Date Unknown
Recognition ReceivedVERIFIED
Profiled on CEI

Supporting Materials

UBONGO-2018-Annual-Report.pdf
Journal-of-Applied-Developmental-Psychology-A-quasi-experiment-examining-the-impact-of-education-cartoons-on-Tanzania-children-by-Dina-L.G.-Borjekowski-1-.pdf
Borzekowski2019-Article-TheImpactOfAnEducationalMediaI.pdf