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Re-think Education: is it the emerging trend of mobile e-learning tech in Sub-Saharan Africa?

Doug and I are both in agreement when it comes to stating the fact that Africa will eventually lead the world for developing innovative mobile learning solutions, if not already. In late 2013, Re-think Education launched their app on a former popular mobile application called Mxit, which attracted 500,000 users. This is a feasible size to highlight that some students in Southern Africa have grown up on their mobile phones, as they have not had access to fancy laptops, desktops and fast Wi-Fi. This made students have the tenacity to learn to use their mobile phones for everything people in the developed world do on their computers. From searching for jobs, researching projects, communicating to education. Amusingly, they can use their mobile phones better than most people can use a MacBook!

Doug wasn’t always an entrepreneur though, his journey actually started eight years ago, when he fell in love with the world of wines after he moved to Cape Town to study at UCT. Which definitely makes sense, seeing everyone’s dream is, or should be, to travel the world writing about food, wine and how it plays an instrumental part of people’s culture.

For those of who you are wondering who Doug is. Well, it’s time you jump onto the bandwagon! As he is the Founding Director of Re-think Education, which I mentioned earlier on, it basically is a Math & Science friendly application, which is being used by over 500,000 high schoolers in South Africa since 2013. Furthermore, he is also the co-founder of the popular school’s communication application Bambisa, now known as Juggl.

When I read about Doug, of course I was interested to find out what makes someone such a passionate and successful millennial entrepreneur. So I had to reach out to him, and ask…

Surely we must be born with it, or is it a skill we develop as we get older? However, for one’s like Doug, their inspiration stems from reading biographies about other successful entrepreneurs, and learning a lot by reading books on Warren Buffet, Steve Jobs, Jack Ma and Elon Musk. As well as finding value in entrepreneurs from other fields. Such as the world’s most famous ultra-marathon runner, Scott Jurek!

Nonetheless, I have to mention how disappointed I was by the fact that our own African news outlets aren’t yelling the successes of our entrepreneurs from the top of their lungs to the world. This is definitely where governments come in. Such as the South African government putting more emphasis on innovative solutions to the education crisis there. “Seeing as part of the problem with government is that they move in years and decades. Businesses such as ours move in hours and days… There is a big mismatch!”

Oh don’t worry Doug, it just isn’t your government…

I’ve become somewhat intrigued by ending conversations with hearing someone’s favorite quote, so I couldn’t help myself but ask Doug what his was; “Life is like a snowball. The important thing is finding wet snow and a really long hill.” - Warren Buffett.

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