In Africa, before now, when you read stories about online learning, it mostly appears persuasive, in a bid to inform people on the importance of online education and encourage increased adoption. But this narrative has evolved. Africa’s online learning adoption is increasing rapidly. A 2018 article published on Elearning Inside narrated how most professionals in Nigeria train themselves through various online learning platforms. However, it is important to note that general EdTech adoption remains on the low at tertiary institutions, secondary and primary school levels in Africa who barely use education technologies due to the poor infrastructure available and financing issues.
The world has evolved so much that online learning is now mainstream for professionals seeking to improve their skills. This evidently can be seen from successes recorded by global EdTech players providing online learning platforms. For instance, global EdTech giant – Udemy reported revenue growth of 84% in 2021 (Year over Year), with an ARR of $ 207 Million. E-learning for skill enhancement remains in serious competition with traditional classroom training, as many professionals can conveniently adopt online study to new skills and acquire more skills.
In the Western World, the corporate sector is not left out. In 2018, a Forbes report noted that more than 40% of Fortune 500 companies are already using e-learning regularly and extensively. However, this may not be the case in one of Africa’s biggest EdTech markets, Nigeria. During an interview with the founder of DoviLearn, Vincent Okeke noted that the corporate training model in Nigeria is not encouraging, as most businesses tend to leave the burden of employee skill empowerment to the employees, and that this needs to change, for the betterment of these businesses, and the general labor market. DoviLearn is a major online learning platform in Nigeria and Africa providing microlearning courses online for skill enhancement. Individual users can take professional-based courses, as well as other soft-skill courses on the platform. Businesses are also able to subscribe to it, as an employee training platform.
E-learning is currently one of the biggest things on the internet, as more people can learn almost anything online. Although there are still challenges like internet broadband cost and poor internet accessibility for rural communities in Africa. Top global online learning platforms like Coursera, Edx, LinkedIn Learning and Udemy are arguably a popular choice for the early online learning adopters in Africa, but this changing with more local players like DoviLearn increasing awareness for online learning in Nigeria and also growing large courseware.
For the International players, while issues like payment currencies and charges were mostly challenges since courses were paid in foreign currencies and based on international pricing standards, local players like DoviLearn offer local payment currency at a highly affordable cost. When DoviLearn founder (Vincent Okeke) was asked to share his insights on how they could achieve this, he noted that being local has numerous advantages that were not only based on pricing. He further stated that “for pricing, it is an advantage for us since we can sell our courses online using local payment processors like Paystack and Flutterwave, including offline payment option. Flutterwave supports global currency billing, with a large number of African currencies being supported, we are working on taking advantage of this opportunity to scale DoviLearn into numerous African countries.
“The good thing is that we are still able to partner with top global industry leaders and EdTech content companies and have their courses published on our platform and subsidized on, which is a very good thing for our local users in Africa. For instance, we have courses like Data Science and Analytics from Science Academy, Canada, and many other top players globally. We are also increasingly establishing more local partnerships across Africa, to publish African made online short courses ”, Vincent Okeke further added.
Africa is facing an EdTech revolution, specifically for online short training courses (also known as microlearning courses or Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), with more local players springing up and making more online training content.In Nigeria, players like Tutors.ng started with basically virtual classes (live) and matching teachers with students, but DoviLearn came with a self-paced video-based online course marketplace, providing users with the opportunity to learn new skills at their own pace and convenience.Many other local players are now making online courses, which is a good opportunity for Nigeria’s EdTech ecosystem.Career professionals, entrepreneurs as well as other interested persons can acquire new skills online at a highly affordable cost, which can be used to boost their careers.DoviLearn was first launched in 2015 and is believed to be a pioneer for the online course marketplace in Nigeria.
Despite these interesting stories, EdTech evolution in Nigeria and Africa at large appears to be in its early stage, as DoviLearn founder shares his plans for the future. In his words, “There is still much to do. First, a lot of people in Nigeria are not aware that they can acquire useful skills by taking short affordable classes online. So, awareness is a major concern. Also, we still have a long way to go in building the size of online courseware we wish to have, although we have one of the largest courseware in Nigeria at the moment, we are grateful for where we are today. When we started, we did with just 5 online courses only, today, we have hundreds of online courses published on our platform, DoviLearn ”.
“We want a situation where anyone who comes to our platform will find any desired online course they need. This is achievable, Udemy did it, and we will. At the moment, we have courses like Project Management, Human Resource, Accounting and Finance, Supply Chain Courses, Data Science and IT Courses, Marketing, Sales, & Business, Customer Service courses, Leadership and Management courses, including many other courses across various categories such administrative courses, soft skills, among others. Our focus as a career-tech startup is to help people better their careers by equipping them with the skills they need to achieve this and are happy for the feedback we receive each day from our users while embarking on this mission ”.
DoviLearn has contributed to the EdTech ecosystem in Africa and is worth keeping an eye on. In 2018, it was among the 24 startups that made it to the Lagos Innovates incubation program, where it received support from the program which was sponsored by the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF). In 2020, MEA Markets, a UK magazine, awarded DoviLearn as the “Leading eLearning Provider of the Year – West Africa”. It is also worthy to note that DoviLearn has recently won the Oasis Innovation Challenge for 2022, where EdTech startup emerged as the number one winner and was awarded a cash prize. DoviLearn courses are unique for the top quality, produced internally and by partners who are top EdTech companies around the globe, with a dedicated team working round the clock to make online learning courses available for everyone in Nigeria and Africa. Let’s see what the future holds for DoviLearn.