Technology – Goabaone Mogwe
Software developer, founder of Tecboe
Goabaone Mogwe is the founder of a software development company in Kanye called Tecboe, which also serves as a business consultancy for start-ups.
Born in Kanye, 27-year-old Mogwe has a degree in applied business computing from the University of Sunderland in the United Kingdom. Seeing a gap within Botswana’s education sector, he decided to build a solution that brings unity between able-bodied and disabled people.
His idea was developing the Ithute software application, an app for primary schools that can be used by both students and teachers as an educational tool. It offers a range of features such as self-testing in spoken languages (English, Setswana and French), as well as sign language and Braille.
His hope is that students will take advantage of the Braille and sign language features, and learn these languages as well.
The Ithute app also offers tutorials, computer skills, a career guide, read- ing, spelling and counting games, the identification of colours and objects, and even a built-in dictionary and calculator.
Mogwe is very proud of the fact that there is currently nothing like his solution on the market.
His biggest challenge has been trying to acquire a trademark for the current app name.
The time and workload needed to develop the app was also an immense challenge.
The Ithute app sells for P5 100 per school, which includes technical support packages.
The app can be also be installed on a home computer for around P1 000, with a small monthly rental fee.
Product sales start soon, with several companies already pre-ordering for the schools they sponsor. Mogwe feels that “with a modern look and feel, the app is being sold at ridiculously cheap prices as a way of giving back to the community.”
It has the potential to change the nation’s education for the better, and is able to be used by both able-bodied and disabled people.
Mogwe says he has a vision of the application being able to help all 33 000 students currently enrolled in primary schools. Botswana has about 754 primary schools and he hopes that one day “all the students get a chance to use the solution and benefit from it as an education anchor.”
Mogwe adds that they are starting a campaign to try to release the application on tablets to students, to allow round-the-clock access to the tool.