Ubongo – 2020 Best Practice Prize recipient

Edutainment for African children  

Half of Africa’s total population are children and many of them do not attend preschool, a  critical cognitive development phase. Children attending primary school often do not access quality education because they lack textbooks and equipment, sit in overcrowded classrooms, and learn in a rote and rigid way. Critical education solutions are required to break intergenerational poverty cycles for the 2 billion children expected to be born on the continent over the next 35 years. 

Ubongo, based in Tanzania, started in 2013 and works to improve educational outcomes in Africa with an innovative and cost-effective edutainment solution. Kids can learn using the technology that is already in the household, accessing for free locally adapted Ubongo educational cartoons via radio, TV, apps, print, ebooks, SMS, and smartphones. A range of skills is targeted across age groups including developing school readiness, problem-solving and life skills. 

In a COVID-19 world, edutainment models like Ubongo take on a greater significance. Children who miss out on school time still have an opportunity to access stimulating and high-quality educational content and learn to love learning. 

The Jacobs Foundation Board of Trustees recognizes Ubongo’s exceptional efforts to provide localized educational cartoons to children in Africa, and especially considered Ubongo’s response to COVID-19 related challenges. 

Interview with Nisha Ligon, Co-founder and CEO Ubongo

10 Questions with Nisha Ligon


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