African Mothers

For all moms

African Mothers Co., Ltd. is a subsidiary of Castalia Co., Ltd., specializing in digital maternal and child health business in Africa.
Implement and disseminate Taarifa za Mama, an application that builds an information network for pregnant women through smartphones in Tanzania. This will improve the work of midwives and promote educational approaches and peer support for pregnant women in an effort to improve the country's high maternal mortality rate.

African Mothers Partners with Shionogi & Co., Ltd. to Implement Diarrhea Prevention in Tanzania Through a Mobile App (Announced on December 22, 2023)

For more details, click here.

The documentary program featuring Director Kawabata, the representative director of AfricanMothers, has started streaming on NHK World's website. (February 7, 2024)

Watch it, click here.

Sharing the Future Saving Mothers with Smartphone Apps: Tanzania

Tanzania is currently struggling with a high maternal mortality rate. Kawabata Yasuo and his team have developed an app for expectant mothers that they hope will help solve this issue.

In the East African country of Tanzania, the maternal mortality rate is high, with 11,000 deaths per year. In order to address this issue, a Japanese startup, after four years of collaborative research with Kyoto University and Hiroshima University, has developed mobile apps for midwives called "Mobile Chart App" and for pregnant women called "Maternal and Child Health Handbook App." The goal is to increase the participation rate of pregnant women in health checkups by utilizing these apps. The project, which began in the central city of Dar es Salaam, is being followed.



In Tanzania, where the high maternal mortality rate of 524 per 100,000 live births (2017) has raised concerns, the healthcare system faces challenges. There is a lack of established hospitals and health centers for pregnant women to visit during pregnancy. Moreover, records are limited to paper charts or cards given to mothers, lacking clear and informative maternity notebooks that explain materials and information. Due to the absence of a comprehensive connection of pregnant women's information on an individual basis, midwives spend considerable time gathering information from notes and paper records during each examination, hindering essential health guidance and explanations of test results. Additionally, the prolonged duration of each examination contributes to extended waiting times in crowded waiting rooms, intensifying dissatisfaction and stress among pregnant women.

Given the current situation where pregnancy information is not chronologically linked, the quality of midwives' health guidance does not improve, and there is a challenge in encouraging active participation in prenatal check-ups among pregnant women.

Business Objective

The objective of the project is to store data such as pregnant women's information and examination details on the cloud through smartphones, facilitating the visualization and sharing of examination details. This aims to enhance the quality of health guidance provided by midwives, increase the number of prenatal check-ups, and ultimately contribute to the reduction of maternal mortality in Tanzania.

Mobile Maternal and Child Health Record App - Tarrifaa Za Mama

We are introducing the Personal Health Record app "Taarifa Za Mama" developed for pregnant women in the United Republic of Tanzania. This app, distinguished by its simplicity and the absence of traditional physical medical equipment or complex medical technology, leverages a single smartphone to enhance midwifery practices and provide educational approaches to pregnant women. The aim is to address the significant challenges of high maternal mortality in the country.

Through the interconnected applications for midwives and pregnant women, a network of information for pregnant women is established. The app serves as a mobile chart for midwives and includes features for pregnant women. In contrast to the current state, where all examination records from early pregnancy to postpartum are covered on a single sheet of paper, the app allows easy access to organized prenatal check-up data stored on the cloud in a phased manner. The pregnant women's app not only visualizes pregnancy status but also delivers essential knowledge and points of attention for each week of pregnancy. It comes equipped with social networking features, enabling casual communication with midwives and other pregnant women. Additionally, the app provides functions for checking health status, receiving reminders for the next health check-up, and fostering the pregnant woman's ongoing awareness of her status. This self-awareness encourages regular check-ups, leading to an increase in the number of prenatal check-ups and ultimately contributing to the reduction of Tanzania's high maternal mortality rate.

Message from CEO

Over the next 30 years, envisioning and implementing a sustainable business scheme is crucial for continuing this initiative, and I am proud to stand here now because I believe I have accumulated enough experience in my past work to take on this challenging project.

Our parent company, Castalia, has been providing mobile learning platforms globally, supporting learners worldwide under the motto of "Solving Social Issues with IT." To realize the founding aspiration of "making education rain like the rain," we have expanded our market not only in Japan but also in more than ten countries where the growing population raises concerns about education shortages.

When it comes to "social contribution," many people may think it's something that doesn't make or can't be made into a business. There's also a sense that associating money with social contribution activities is somewhat distasteful. In reality, discussions about "social contribution" often revolve around activities funded by donations. While this may be effective in short spans like three or five years, the endeavor we are embarking on cannot be completed within such a short timeframe.

In the newly established company, African Mothers Co., Ltd., we will focus on developing and providing a smartphone app for improving maternal mortality in Tanzania. However, the most critical role entrusted to me as the CEO is to challenge the establishment of a business scheme that allows us to provide this app to expectant mothers for free.

Our efforts involve supporting women from pre-pregnancy, providing midwifery education, caring for the lives to be born, and assisting the born lives in acquiring skills for survival. These initiatives require sustainability looking 20 to 30 years ahead. Relying solely on people's goodwill for blindly prolonged activities over such an extended period is likely to falter at some point.

Nevertheless, turning a social contribution project into a "business" involves significant planning and effort. However, precisely because it is genuinely needed, and because long-term sustainability is a requirement, "businessification" becomes necessary. Only by "businessifying" social contribution projects can we gain the strength to continue our efforts beyond generations, eras, blood ties, national differences, and different positions. The significance of businessifying lies in the ability to tackle projects with a long-term span that one individual's life cannot witness.

As African Mothers strives to become a trusted education brand beyond borders within the Castalia Group, I sincerely ask for your continued support for our business activities and those of the Castalia Group.

CEO, Yasuo Kawabata

Company Overview

Operating Company: African Mothers Co., Ltd.
Shareholder: Castalia Co., Ltd. (100%)
Company address: 1-13-10 Daisan Toun BLDG. 8F, Shibaura, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan 105-0023,
CEO: Yasuo Kawabata
Establishment Date: July 2, 2022


Executive Officers 

Yasuo Kawabata

CEO (Director of Castalia Co., Ltd.)

Born in Sapporo, Hokkaido. Graduated from the Department of Geography, Geological Sciences Course, Faculty of Science, the University of Tokyo. Joined Dentsu, where, alongside responsibilities as a key account sales executive handling major advertisers, engaged in business operations such as event management. Led projects related to social contributions, including Japan's appeal at the United Nations headquarters. From June 2011, spent over five years seconded to an external company, actively involved in startup investments, fostering support businesses, and taking on a hands-on role, including serving as the COO of invested companies. Retired from Dentsu at the end of 2016, founded Active Vision Co., Ltd., and assumed the position of Representative Director.

Satoshi Yamawaki

Director (Representative Director of Castalia Co., Ltd.)

Born in Tottori Prefecture in 1970, Satoshi Yamawaki graduated from Kokugakuin University. After working for an English correspondence education company, he studied abroad in New York. He worked at Radio Pacific Japan (Los Angeles, CA), where he produced programs through a media mix of the internet and FM radio. Subsequently, he served as the Marketing/Sales Director at U.S. Japan Business News Inc. (New York). In 2000, he established Busium Inc. in New York. Yamawaki relocated to Tokyo in April 2005 following the company's headquarters move and held a position as an executive officer in charge of online audio content sales. He left the company at the end of November 2005. Afterward, he founded Castalia Co., Ltd., assuming the position of Representative Director.

Yoko Shimpuku

External Director (Professor and Vice President of Hiroshima University School of Medicine)

Yoko Shimpuku serves as the Vice President (International Public Relations) of Hiroshima University. She has been conducting research on maternal and child health in Tanzania for 14 years and has made significant contributions to the advancement of science and technology. She has held positions such as Vice Representative of the Young Academy of the Japan Academy, Executive Officer of the Global Young Academy, and more. In 2020, she was the only Japanese individual selected as one of the "Top 100 Outstanding Female Midwife and Nursing Leader Leaders in the World" by organizations such as WHO.