In Africa, online learning has started to take shape in the last decade, however, access to resources and high data costs in the region remains a persistent challenge for the youth and Africans in marginalized communities.
To address this, Facebook has partnered with Digify Africa to create a WhatsApp learning bot named ‘Naledi‘ which offers accessible, low-data-cost online learning for all Africans who may have limited access to connectivity and devices.
Naledi aims to create Facebook Digital Marketing experts through interactive learning material. The WhatsApp bot mainly focuses on Facebook products as a digital marketing tool, especially for start-ups and entrepreneurs.
The bot features engaging content in an immersive learning environment that includes study groups in a self-paced learning journey that allows the participant to upskill themselves at their convenience, and get help if they are stuck. Naledi was first piloted with a group of UNISA postgraduate students in 2020.
Digify Africa has been at the forefront of upskilling young people across the continent since 2014. The company has trained over 100,000 people through various free training programmes such as the award-winning Digify Pro, Boost with Facebook, and Ilizwe Lam.
According to ITNA, Naledi is part of a series of learning bots that Digify Africa will be launching together with Facebook to deliver digital skills and knowledge to a wider audience across Africa.
“I am thrilled to see this example of homegrown innovation from the African continent come to life,” says Digify Africa CEO Gavin Weale.
“Using WhatsApp to deliver learning has been an ambition of ours since we built an early demo in 2019, on the basis that using a free and widely-spread application like this has the potential to reach the highest number of learners at the lowest cost possible. The challenge has been figuring out how to make the experience of learning on WhatsApp seamless and valuable, and this partnership between Digify Africa and Facebook has allowed us to deliver the first exciting iteration of that.”
“Facebook is committed to empowering the next generation of marketers and entrepreneurs in Africa. Digify Africa has been long-term partner in helping us drive scaled education. When Covid-19 struck and we were no longer able to deliver training in person, we started investigating using WhatsApp as a delivery channel – and Naledi was born,” says Elizma Nolte, Facebook Regional Marketing Manager for Africa.
“We are continuing to scale this impact to the world. Not only building on Naledi’s reach but also seeing how we equip all our education partners to empower a whole new generation of mobile entrepreneurs.”