Africa Comm 2019

Thrilled to be invited speaker on the connectivity stage to reveal results of our recent 300 teacher survey: African teachers are clearly positioned to be the best ambassadors critical to enabling the digital transformation of Africa.  They are connected, they represent the largest group of stable wage earners in developing countries and their numbers will grow tremendously. #africacom  

Africa’s important business opportunities and a surprising key market segment

“Africa’s fast-growing population presents important opportunities for business in an environment of slowing global growth”  notes the highly respected  Brookings Institution.

Insights from Cybersmart Africa’s recent survey of 300 new Senegalese teachers at #AfricaCom reveals a definable market segment offering what Brookings calls “the potential for business to play a transformative role in solving the continent’s biggest challenges.” Jim Teicher CEO CyberSmart reveals surprising survey findings at #AfricaCom 2019 on November 12 15;20


Group work

The Importance of Teachers as Customers

Why are teachers among the most important customers for Telecoms? Jim Teicher CEO CyberSmart reveals finding from recent 300 teacher survey at #AfricaCom 2019 on November 12 15;20

#AfricaCom First time ever survey reveals major leadership opportunity

Insights from CyberSmart Africa’s first-time ever survey of 300 teachers reveals  a major opportunity for telecoms to play a leadership role to grow education solutions while maintaining financial sustainability. Jim Teicher, CEO and Director  of CyberSmart Africa is presenting at #AfricaCom in Cape Town on 12 -14 November 2019, AfricaCom is the Largest African Telco, Media, and Technology Event.               Conference details here.



Digital Currency is Valuable for sub-Saharan Africa

Consumers will drive the growth of digital currency, which will and must become part of our daily lives in sub-Saharan Africa.  This is the essence of my remarks when I introduced the amazing panel titled “Consumer Led Innovation” at the WestAfricaCom conference in Dakar.

Technologies like blockchain and digital cash are particularly valuable because they bring the promise of transparency and trust. Blockchain provides a new way to exchange money and other valuable information without fear that it will be stolen or modified.

Telecom should be a leader in this new space. The technology is new and challenges remain, and the telecom ecosystem counts among the key players who must implement it successfully.  For more information about the impact of blockchain on international development see the USAID Primer on Blockchain.

The true test of success will be growing consumer demand to use blockchain in ways that make life easier and more affordable. The benefits of transparency and trust will impact the delivery of public services in ways that bring new efficiencies and renewed integrity to the government.

WestAfricaCom Conference Keynote Panel: Closing the Skills Gap with Technology

Key note panel speaker, Jim Teicher, Director CyberSmart AFrica on the topic of “Closing the Skills Gap with Technology and Innovation” notes that ” highly innovative, practical, and massively scalable educational solutions are required to meet the pressing demands of the skyrocketing population in sub-Saharan Africa.

Two additional points  emphasized:

– To bring more women into the workforce we need to make sure that more girls go to school – and stay in school.

– Public/private partnerships are very challenging and typically unsustainable once project funding runs out. Everyone seems to agree; and now we need to turn talk into action in order to close the skills gap.

West Africa Com 2019 Conference Speaker


Thrilled to be returning to West Africa Com 2019 as a speaker on ‘Closing the Skills Gap with Technology and Innovation’.

Great memories of being honored here prior with “Game Changing Innovation” Award.

Millions of Lesson Plans. Valuable and Missing.

Lesson Plan

Millions of lesson plans like this are kept in teachers’ personal drawers. So why should we care? Because most schools in Sub-Saharan Africa lack books and teaching resources are few. So lessons plans and learning content is treasured.

These valuable lesson plans need to be shared. That’s what CyberSmart Africa is working on.

And it must happen sooner than later because the school-age population is skyrocketing.

What teachers want and need.

Teacher using CyberSmart Digital Learning Platform

This teacher is sharing pictures and videos of animals at a nearby wildlife refuge to support his lesson. Last year,  he might have tried to draw chalk pictures or ask his students to imagine what he was describing. But when the right technology is available he eagerly grabbed the opportunity to enrich his teaching and capture the attention of his students.

The problem is not the teachers. It’s the politicians and donor community that get in the way to stifle innovation. The CyberSmart Learning Platform has proven  — beyond a doubt — that affordable and massively scalable classroom learning with the latest technologies is possible today. Even in rural schools like this without electricity.

P.S. Why are the walls pink? See our January 16, 2019 post.

2019 Plans and 2018 Accomplishments by Jim Teicher, Founder & Director

The solar-powered CyberSmart Digital Learning Platform

CyberSmart Africa spent the past year refining and enhancing the solar-powered CyberSmart Digital Learning Platform, based on ten years of working directly with teachers and schools in Senegal. This is the first practical model for massively scalable school learning also taking into account lessons learned from numerous education, government and business leaders, including the French Minister of Education, The US Ambassador to Senegal, the UN, UNESCO, The World Bank, and numerous others.

Introducing – An AI Social Network

My biggest lesson learned from teachers in Senegal is that they need to save time because they are under  tremendous pressure to teach all of the curriculum. CyberSmart’s introduction of uses artificial intelligence (AI) and is specially designed to help teachers do what they are already doing — only faster and easier. Teachers are already heavy users of social networks to meet their professional needs; but existing networks are not uniquely designed for teachers. We are adding features that teachers have told us will make their jobs and their lives easier.  For example, a knowledge bank of teaching resources allows teachers to share learning content, and commerce features will help them save money.

2018 Community Service Activities

Even though our focus is on educational technology, we are fortunate to have numerous opportunities to serve students, teachers, and  their families.

Feature film “Tall as the Baobab Tree” Millions of people around the world continue to view the internationally acclaimed feature film “Tall as the Baobab Tree produced by CyberSmart Learning Institute and filmed in the village where I started my work in Senegal over ten years ago. The film speaks to the power of education and its life changing consequences.

Delta Airlines partnership  Delta Airlines partnered with us to give rural village students a tour of the gleaming new Blaise Diagne International Airport in Dakar, providing them with a concrete example of where their education might take them — perhaps on a Delta flight to New York!

American jazz  We hosted the first live American jazz content ever to take place in a rural Pulaar Senegalese village to the delight of hundreds of villagers.

Classroom renovation Our annual  classroom renovation initiative turned into an exercise in student empowerment and democracy-building when students voted on the color of their classroom walls. A vibrant pink won, and teachers report that the students are more motivated as they prepare for the elementary school passing exam.

Student healthcare  We were again pleased to team-up with Maine (USA)-based Partners For World Health to facilitate medical treatment for hundreds of children and their families in Sinthiou Mbadane, Senegal.