South Africa’s Snapplify Foundation Wins Bett MEA Award for Inclusion

In News by Porter Anderson

The very new Snapplify Foundation is the winner of a 2020 Bett MEA award for its work in expanding ed-tech availability to underserved students and communities in Africa.

Snapplify’s new foundation includes bursary programs to help needy African students get the content they need. Image: Snapplify Foundation

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Ogilvie-Roodt: ‘Leave No One Behind’
In an announcement today (December 14) from Cape Town, the Snapplify Foundation announces its win of the 2020 Bett MEA Inclusion Award for its work in educational digital content and e-learning tools among underserved students.

Working in the Middle East and Africa, the Bett MEA program normally offers an annual exhibition in education technology. The 2020 show had to be canceled but the awards continued. In addition to Snapplify, shortlisted nominees for the Inclusion Awards were the Eaton Business School and Shady Elkassas, the Allttihad National Private School, both in the United Arab Emirates.

While our readers are familiar with the work of Snapplify, its foundation is a new development, having just been created this year.

On setting up the foundation, Snapplify CEO Wesley Lynch said in August, “Since 2012, Snapplify has been building technology to improve education for learners and educators across emerging markets.”

That mission, he said, can be taken “one step further via the Snapplify Foundation, which will work with governments, investors, publishers, and donors to deliver world-class e-learning solutions to schools that really need it.”

In addition to programs for teachers and students, one effort of the foundation is to involve itself in situations of “low Internet connectivity, high data costs, and poor access to other infrastructure.”

A part of the foundation’s mission statement reads, “We believe that a connected educational ecosystem is critical to the success of any education intervention. We collaborate with partners to build new programmes and integrate into existing programmes where we can add value and assist in creating an environment where educators and learners thrive.”

Debra Ogilvie-Roodt

The nonprofit foundation has quickly engaged itself in responses to effects of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic with some 10,000 students engaged in the Johannesburg-based iSchoolAfrica program—including working on setting up digital libraries in each of South Africa’s nine provinces—as well as with the TSIBA program for future business leaders.

The Snapplify Foundation has also announced a partnership with d6, which is a South African online school management platform, with digital tools, content, and training for the Centre of Science and Technology, a no-fee government high school in Cape Town.

In a prepared statement on the announcement today of the Bett MEA Inclusion Award, Debra Ogilvie-Roodt, who is head of the Snapplify Foundation, is quoted, saying, “At the Snapplify Foundation, we’re fully committed to the notion of ‘Leave No One Behind.’

“COVID-19 has shown us the crucial role that technology has to play in creating access to education, but has also highlighted how big the digital divide is and the challenges that need to be addressed to overcome this.

“We’re grateful to be working with partners who are as committed as we are to helping schools, teachers, and students overcome these challenges and bridge this divide in a sustainable way.’

The Bett MEA Awards program includes this video on the Inclusion Award.


More from Publishing Perspectives on the African markets is here. More from us on Snapplify is here, more on ed-tech is here, and more from us on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's 2019 International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson also has worked as a senior producer, editor, and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA, and as an arts critic (National Critics Institute) with The Village Voice and Dallas Times Herald. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.