Zurich, Switzerland, 24 January 2022. Ha Hu AG, a gamified Edtech platform, announced César Hidalgo as their angel investor. Founded in 2021 by a young mother, who saw the need for simplified and gamified early education tools for African languages, the company was self-funded before accepting outside financing. Their app, HaHu Scripts debuted its products in Amharic and now is in their next phase to launch two languages: Amharic and Tigrigna. These are languages spoken in East Africa, one of the regions in Africa with the lowest literacy rates. According to the World Bank, literacy rate in 2018 Ethiopia was just 51.8% and 70% of school children and youth did not finish primary education.
César A. Hidalgo is a Chilean-Spanish-American scholar known for his contributions to economic complexity, data visualization, and applied artificial intelligence. After spending 9 years as a professor at MIT, he moved to Toulouse, France, where he leads the Center for Collective Learning at the Artificial and Natural Intelligence Institute (ANITI) of the University of Toulouse. He is also an Honorary Professor at the University of Manchester and a Visiting Professor at Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
When asked about Ha Hu AG, Hidalgo commented: “I met Nigist in Zurich on 2021, and I was immediately impressed by her entrepreneurial spirit and vision. As a father of a young daughter, I understand the need for quality online education brought by the pandemic. While there are many resources available in English, the supply is not the same for other languages. Nigist had the vision and the courage to develop an educational product with the potential to support the basic literacy needs of millions of families in East Africa.”
Nigist Goytom, Founder & CEO of HaHu Scripts commented: “When the planet went on global lockdown and schools were closed at the outset of COVID-19, the world recognized the demand for digital educational tools. Digital tools enabled remote education and therefore are invaluable for families, educators, refugees, and displaced communities who wouldn’t have access to traditional schooling. As an African migrant tasked with the education of her children, I realized way before the pandemic how little – beginner friendly – educational resources and materials were available for east African languages like Amharic and Tigrigna. HaHu Scripts makes it now possible for everyone, children, and adults alike, to have education at their convenience in their native language. Our project is a Pan-African project that works on curbing digital inequality and illiteracy one African language at a time. Our partnership with Cesar is one step forward to achieving our goal.”
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