“I’m driven by my vision to help solve the world’s largest education challenge – addressing the needs of SubSaharan Africa, home to the fastest growing youth population. I believe, and our new research shows, that massively scalable education technology and social networking are the key drivers to meeting this challenge.
What’s inspiring to me is that after 12 years of grassroots collaboration with teachers in rural schools, my longstanding, deep local relationships allow us to identify clearly the most practical ways to proceed and support the tens of millions of teachers and hundreds of millions of kids in SubSaharan Africa.” Jim Teicher
What drives and inspires me. Jim Teicher, Director & Founder March 3rd, 2020Jim Teicher
During 2020 our focus is on building out and launching the SmartSenegal.com social network experience and cementing relationships for the massive uptake by teachers in Senegal and elsewhere in the developing world.
Relationships. Relationships. The SmartSenegal.com social network
During 2019 we secured key relationships for the start-up and growth of the SmartSenegal.com teacher social network – trusted local partnerships established from working over ten years in Senegal. Relationships emphasizing the private sector, teacher unions, and other key influencers outside of government control. It’s all about relationships!
SmartSenegal.com overcomes the persistent obstacles associated with teacher training, collaboration, and access to up-to-date learning resources in developing nations: it provides a highly supportive, empathetic platform for teachers to make new, meaningful connections with learning content and each other. Strategic use of artificial intelligence helps teachers locate and apply the best available resources.
Ground-breaking Research: The Digital Life of New Teachers
CyberSmart Africa conducted ground-breaking research about the digital life of new teachers – something never done before in Sub-Saharan Africa where teachers’ opinions rarely enter into decision making by education authorities. We surveyed 300 new Senegalese teachers and found that the vast majority (89 percent) own smartphones and are substantially more connected than the general public. New teachers are the power telecom users, representing the largest group of stable wage earners in developing countries. This is encouraging news both for telecom players, and for the development of new education solutions which embrace technology. See the Slideshare presentation here first presented at AfricaCom, Capetown, South Africa.
Schools continue to use CyberSmart Africa’s proof-of-concept solar-powered interactive whiteboard for low-cost classroom learning. Although not our current focus, this low-cost learning technology will play a key role to bring online and offline multimedia lessons to classrooms without, and with electricity.
I connected with The National Basketball Association to bring NBA Academy players and staff to the rural elementary school, Ecole Sinthiou Mbadane 1. The NBA Academy is a world-class facility designed to train elite African athletes. The players spent time in classrooms, played games with the kids, and provided inspiration just through their towering presence. We used basketball as a frame of reference for multimedia lessons in geometry – a basketball court is a rectangle!
American Chamber of Commerce
I have assumed a leadership role within the American Chamber of Commerce to strengthen American investment and influence in West Africa. The net impact can be huge, including transparency improvements, and embracing more problem solving and decision making at all levels.
2019 Community Service Activities
This year again we had numerous opportunities to serve students, teachers, and their families.
Student Health Care
Once again we were thrilled to arrange for the Maine (USA)-based Partners in World Health return to Ecole Sinthiou Mbadane1, CyberSmart Africa’s first partner school, to provide medical treatment for hundreds of children and their families.
Chef Pierre Thiam visit to Dakar
I was thrilled to facilitate a meeting between the internationally renowned American/Senegalese chef Pierre Thiam and U.S. Ambassador to Senegal, Tulinabo Mushingi. Pierre Thiam is widely recognized as the culinary ambassador of West African cuisine to the world.
Life-saving open heart surgery/Cardiovascular disease prevention
The Cuomo Pediatric Heart Hospital is the new hub for open heart surgery and medical education in the region. During September 2019 I was honored to sponsor life-saving open heart surgery performed on a young man in dire need. Aligned to the Senegalese national curriculum, lessons in cardiac disease prevention, including rheumatic fever, hypertension, and diabetes will all be a vital component of CyberSmart Africa’s new digital learning content.
Feature film “Tall as the Baobab Tree” This internationally acclaimed feature continues to impact tens of millions of people around the world, 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. A free teaching and study guide is available for teachers.
Micro-Sustainable development exemplified
Madame Fataya exemplifies the vision for financial sustainability at a micro-level. This woman increased her sales of street food and boosted her income by offering new, creative versions of a traditional Senegalese donut called “fataya.” We provided the coaching, recipes, and ingredients to make the initial batches. She’s been on her own for over six months, buying the ingredients and profitably selling new banana and apple fatayas to tourists and locals.
2020 Plans and 2019 Accomplishments by Jim Teicher Founder & Director March 3rd, 2020Jim Teicher
CyberSmart Africa conducted ground-breaking research about the digital life of new teachers – something never done before in Sub-Saharan Africa – where the teachers opinions rarely enter into decision making by education authorities.
We surveyed 300 new Senegalese teachers and found that the vast majority (89 percent) own smartphones and are substantially more connected than the general public. New teachers are the power telecom users, representing the largest group of stable wage earners in developing countries. This is encouraging news both for telecom players, and for the development of new education solutions which embrace technology. See the Slideshare presentation here first presented at AfricaCom, Capetown, South Africa
HIghlight: Teachers represent the largest professional workforce on the African continent. Teachers in Africa actually take home a higher percentage of GDP per capita than their peers in developed nations. This means that regularly salaried teachers are important customers in Africa. Plus this market will grow, and grow, and grow as estimated shortages of teachers in primary and secondary education in sub Saharan Africa are dire.
Teachers will facilitate technology use in schools, and will help drive children and families to connect.
First ever survey of 300 Senegalese Teachers. Key Market Identified February 23rd, 2020Jim Teicher
The next generation of African teachers will be a key customer segment for telcos as they are already likely to be connected with smartphones, buying their own bandwidth and are part of the largest, most stable, salaried professional workforce on the African continent. And their numbers are growing with the booming youth population.
Russell Southwood of The Balancing Act- the primary source for information on Technology, Media and telecoms industries in Africa talks to Jim Teicher of CyberSmart Africa about the findings of a first-time-ever survey he conducted among 300 new teachers fresh out of teacher training colleges in Senegal.
Next generation African Teachers are key to Telco growth and Education. January 5th, 2021Jim Teicher
Discussing the results of our recent survey with 300 new Senegalese teachers with Monahed Moustapha Diagne, Director of Training and Communications for the Senegalese Ministry of Education.
Teachers represent the largest, regularly salaried, stable and professional workforce on the African Continent. And their numbers will only grow with the booming child population growth. CyberSmart’s groundbreaking research found that the majority of teachers – fully 66% will pay for the convenience of connectivity when and where they want it and 89% own a new smart phone – a significantly higher percentage than the general population.
For the full results and implications for telcoms and education See
My experience with telecom players suggests that they care deeply about bridging the digital divide, connecting everyone, and impacting education. It makes sense on every level. An educated society benefits everyone because it contributes to economic growth and well-being – including the expansion of new telecom products and services. (photo from #AfricaCom2019).
Why Telcom and Education Go Hand in Hand November 30th, 2019Jim Teicher
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 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
Africa’s important business opportunities and a surprising key market segment January 5th, 2021Jim Teicher
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 https://tmt.knect365.com/africacom/speakers/jim-teicher
The Importance of Teachers as Customers January 5th, 2021Jim Teicher
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.
#AfricaCom First time ever survey reveals major leadership opportunity November 7th, 2019Jim Teicher