The fifth annual Edutech Africa kicked off earlier this week at the Sandton Convention Centre.

Along with being a two-day long event focused on how government and business can play a bigger role within Africa’s education landscape, it was also my first time attending.

Ribbon cutting for EduTech Africa 2018 exhibitor zone.

What follows is my experience of day one, and the companies that made the biggest impression on me at EduTECH Africa 2018.

Striking a balance

The keynote address was quite insightful and focused on how technology and education should be in balance with one another.

Things started off with opening remarks from the creators of EduTECH, Terrapinn and FEDSAS, with a mix of four (local and international) keynote speakers.

One of the keynote speakers came from Safaricom, which currently operates in Kenya, and is the title sponsor of EduTECH 2018. Wangeci Kanjama, head of wholesale and roaming department, spoke intensely about the evolution of education and how it has become increasingly digital.

“We have to be more aware about the challenges that the educational ecosystem is facing, so that we can make better contributions,” she noted

Kanjama also advocated for how the increase of technology could make a difference to Africa as well as the whole world.

Following the keynote addresses, the exhibitor hall was opened up, with more than 300 exhibitions on display.

While I could not make my way through all 300-plus exhibitions, there were eight in particular that made a distinct impression on me.

Outside the exhibition zone of EduTECH Africa 2018.

SCI-BONO

The first exhibitor I saw was SCI-BONO. It is based in the Johannesburg CBD and they support education structures such as maths, science and technology, as well as creating lesson plans and learning material for students and teachers.

Lasec

Based in South Africa, they offer teacher training as well as manufacture and supply educational equipment for maths, science, life sciences and technology. They were previously known as Edutrade before changing to Lasec.

Snapplify

They offer educational digital reading and elearning material to school libraries as well as individuals. This company is based in South Africa and offers more than 46 000 books in their elibrary and the material is available in all 11 official South African languages.

Gravic

They sell software to companies, as well as educational institutions for data collection processes, reading tests and analysis, along with scoring solutions.

Qberty

This organisation mostly specialises in coding. They offer science, maths and technology programs, along with learnership and internship programs for all types of learners and are based in Northriding, Johannesburg.

FEDSAS

FEDSAS trains governing school bodies from private as well as public schools. It is a South African based company.

Aleuta

They are a software company and the gold sponsors of Edu Tech, they are about creating an environment for individuals in class rooms or formal education to personalise content creation.

Cylo

Cylo is based in the US and are a technology solutions provider that offers learner and content management. Their products range from protection for music and movies to an e-reader and gamifed education.

Looking forward

In conclusion EduTECH Africa 2018 serves as a great place to learn about technology and how it’s being used to help those in the education space.

There are a range of initiatives being taken to improve the access to tools for learners and teachers thanks to technology, and trying to find different approaches in which we can increase creativity. It is great to see that even though Africa as a continent is playing catch-up with other regions, there are organisations out there trying to do their best to keep us advancing.

With the National Development Plan (NDP) 2030 striving to ensure that every child is provided quality education, I hope to see the country doing well in this regard in coming years, with conferences like EduTECH Africa playing its part.