people completed training through WhatsApp
of people interacting with WhatsApp started learning
course completion rate on WhatsApp
growth in learners using WhatsApp
Helping African youth to build livelihoods
Digify Africa is a youth-led organization providing free digital skills and literacy programs that help people access employment opportunities in digital marketing and build skills for sustainable livelihoods.
Using digital learning to enter the digital workforce
To combat high unemployment in Africa, Digify Africa wanted to connect more people with the digital skills they need for career success. The organization was challenged to overcome many people’s limited access to desktop computers or data plans as it tried to provide online learning targeted to young people and educators.
Providing two unique chatbots
As young people in Africa confront one of the world’s highest unemployment rates, organizations like Digify Africa lead the charge in providing the digital skills and literacy programs that will help youth gain footholds in the digital economy. Through imm ersive content in digital marketing, entrepreneurship, and freelancer training, Digify Africa teams work to overcome the challenges African youth face in gaining access to education to improve their lives.
Even as Digify Africa teams made African youth more competitive for the digital workforce, they found that reaching students online could be difficult. Many young people don’t have desktop computers at home, and their smartphones come with limited data plans that makes most traditional e-learning program s inaccessible. Digify Africa relied on face-to-face classroom instruction—until the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the organization’s drive to find a way of reaching learners online.
The team knew that WhatsApp was one of the most popular communications ch annels in Africa. After attending the F8 Hackathon, hosted by Meta Platforms, they saw the possibilities of using WhatsApp as the foundation for a unique learning environment. Working with full-service digital marketing agency and MessengerPeople’s partner Techsys Digital, the Digify Africa team developed two distinct chatbots through WhatsApp Business API: Lesedi, to enable students to learn digital literacy skills, and Kitso, to train teachers on internet safety.
Learners can access either bot via a QR code on Digify Africa social media channels, or Ads that Click to Facebook or Instagram, or by sending a message directly through WhatsApp. Using a central menu, people can build skills by moving through course modules in a linear fashion or taking individual courses in an order that suits them. After completing each course, learners take quizzes to gauge their knowledge, and they can track their progress on a leaderboard. When learners finish all modules, they earn a certificate that helps set them apart in the workforce.
“In less than one year, 136,000 people completed training through either Lesedi or Kitso. In contrast, before using WhatsApp to reach learners, we were able to train 120,000 people in our 11 years of operations,” says Gavin Weale, Founder of Digify Africa. “As job-relevant training becomes more borderless and accessible via WhatsApp, we have almost 40,000 active learners each week. People have completed roughly 1.4 million topics, or roughly 25 years’ worth of content, in less than a year.”
With WhatsApp, the Digify Africa team can offer the 24/7 convenience of automated content, including text, image, and voice messages while taking advantage of the ability to create its own quizzes, leaderboards, and trackers to spark engagement. Learner excitement for both bots generated a combined 125 million messages within a year, with the highest monthly average reaching 38 million messages.
The Department of Basic Education in South Africa, which is responsible for reaching 14 million people acros s the country, took notice of how Digify Africa broke down barriers to learning with WhatsApp. By establishing a partnership between the department and Digify Africa, tens of thousands of teachers have signed up for the Kitso bot.
“The future of online learning has arrived at Digify Africa with how we’ve tailored our WhatsApp bot, and in the span of two quarters, we’ve seen 3.6 times the growth in learners using Lesedi or Kitso. Thanks to the interactive learning journeys we offer in WhatsApp, 50 percent of people who begin coursework complete it,” says Weale. “WhatsApp allows us to deliver such immersive content that our learner satisfaction scores reach 99 percent.
As Digify Africa prepares learners and educators for the digital workforce, the organization is already using WhatsApp to run its 10-week digital marketing bootcamp. Plans for new use cases include WhatsApp surveys to track the ongoing employment status of Digify Africa learners to measure Digify Africa’s contribution to African youth securing employment.
High learner enthusiasm
When Digify Africa develops two unique chatbots through WhatsApp, the organization sees high satisfaction scores, message rates, and record numbers of learners completing online training.
- 136,000 learners completed training through WhatsApp
- 72% of people interacting with WhatsApp started learning
- 50% course complete rate on WhatsApp
- 3.6x growth in learners using WhatsApp
In one year, 136,000 people completed training through either Lesedi or Kitso. In contrast, before using WhatsApp to reach learners, we were able to train 120,000 people in our 11 years of operations. As job-relevant training becomes more borderless and accessible via WhatsApp, we have almost 40,000 active learners each week. People have comp leted roughly 1.4 million topics, or roughly 25 years’ worth of content, in less than a year.