March 2021 will see the launch of Afrikan Echoes, an app uniquely designed for Africans on the continent to play, download, and share original and unpublished African works that have been translated into African languages such as Yoruba, Amharic, and Swahili.
Afrikan Echoes is developed by Ghanaian technology entrepreneur, Herman Chinery-Hesse, who has been dubbed “the Bill Gates of Ghana.” The project is funded by theSOFTtribe, Chinery-Hesse’s software company, to ensure that all aspects of development remain African-owned.
Chinery-Hesse’s desired audience for Afrikan Echoes extends to mobile users in rural areas who have limited access to the internet. What makes the app unique is that it will encourage submissions of user-generated content and offline sharing. Users will be able to share with each other using Bluetooth, as well as to submit their own stories to Afrikan Echoes in voice notes.
In an interview with CNN, Chinery-Hesse explains,
In today’s world, the oral tradition can be translated into electronic audio. So suddenly, we have Africa’s oral tradition on steroids, which is what we are trying to achieve here…The stories we are going to produce are coming from all of Africa. It’s not city to city. It’s mobile phone to mobile, so village to village. The whole world gets to watch and hear African stories from Africans across the continent.
Afrikan Echoes will be available on Android, and each story will cost $1 to download. The app will also use SMS texts to alert users of the latest audio releases.
Click here to watch Herman Chinery-Hesse’s full interview with CNN.