Zydii: Online Learning for Africans


In this episode, we talk with Joyce Mbaya-Ikiao, the founder of Nairobi-based company Zydii, about building an online learning platform for African learners and instructors. We discuss how to build technology that works well for Africans, letting your customers drive your development, working effectively with people with less technical expertise, and the challenges of developing in a landscape of ever-evolving software tools and technologies.


“We launched with some amazing robust features that we switched off... As a technology person, you want to do this amazing thing. You’re thinking so ahead, and sometimes your customers are not even there yet.”

“No matter how stupid, no matter even if it sounds like you’re asking me the same thing 10 times, ask… Don’t rush to develop until you have a very clear picture of what the business is asking for.”

Tech has moved so quickly… there are much more efficient languages that we could be using… We need to upgrade our platform, but there’s a cost to it… You don’t know at the time, and you only learn down the road.”

“You’re not looking at doing something for 3 years for social impact and then walking away. You need it to be sustainable for years to come to have the real change.”

Learn More

  • To learn more about Zydii, check out their website at zydii.com.

Julia Neidert