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Schools May be Closed but Learning Continues in Kenya

Many children do not have the option to learn online. The United Nations children’s agency, UNICEF, says at least half of sub-Saharan Africa’s schoolchildren do not have internet access. So some watch a cartoon made by Tanzanian non-profit organisation Ubongo, which offers television and radio content for free to African broadcasters. In March, programmes by Ubongo – the Kiswahili word for brain – were broadcast to an area covering about 12 million households in nine countries, said Iman Lipumba, Ubongo’s head of communications. That rose to 17 million in 20 countries by August. “The COVID-19 pandemic has really forced us to rapidly grow,” Lipumba said. A group of artists, innovators and educators set up Ubongo TV in Tanzania in 2014. It has received about $4m in grants since, and earned $700,000 from YouTube, product sales, character licensing and co-production of programmes.