These apps were originally created with unique social, geographic and economic challenges in mind for communities in several African countries. Turns out international users are finding value in them. Here are 12 African-created apps being used around the world.
This app is important for anyone who takes medication regularly but especially for developing countries where legitimate meds can be difficult to come by. The app allows you to message a verification number to its service, which will then alert the user to the authenticity of the medication.
City dwellers love this app. It lets you select a destination and the mode of transportation you’d like to take (metro, bicycle, bus) before providing you with easy-to-follow directions. The app was created by Nigerian former Wall Street analyst Chinedu Echeruo.
Iman Cosmetics (Somalia)
Created by Somali fashion model Iman Abdulmajid, Iman Cosmetics markets itself for women who struggle to find the right shade of makeup. The app allows users to upload a photo of themselves and immediately receive Iman-selected makeup recommendations based on the user’s specific skin tones.
Kasha.mobi is like your little secretary and security guard in one. The app allows you to securely save passwords and login details, and even send any text message containing valuable information to storage, so you can then delete it from your phone. When users log onto their Kasha.mobi app, they’ll find all their information securely stored.
Zimbile helps small business owners and even individual content creators create a mobile-optimized website in just a few minutes. From there, the app helps users promote their site over several platforms like Google Plus and social media. The company prides itself on being so user friendly that users needn’t have technology knowledge to use it.
Afrinolly focuses on Nollywood—Nigeria’s Hollywood—but film buffs of any kind can enjoy it. The mobile app lets people watch trailers for upcoming movies, news stories on the film industry and interviews with major film industry players.
SlimTrader is great for any business but it is particularly useful for businesses that have limited access to banks or conventional methods of payment. The app allows users to carry out e-commerce transactions through any phone that can connect to the Internet. The app even works via SMS on phones that do not connect to the Internet. Through a simple series of text messages, a user can pay for goods or services.
Bookly (South Africa)
Bookly aims to improve literacy in South Africa but it is ideal for any avid e-book reader. The app, built for Mxit, helps users build an entire digital library of e-books, provides book progress, keeps bookmarks, and even allows for gamification of certain books and links to purchases that might be inspired by the books.
Matatu is a two-player mobile card game based on a popular Ugandan card game. The goal is to play all your cards before your opponent does, which sounds simple, but there are plenty of ways to fall behind.
MPayer allows businesses to manage both income and business expenses in real time through their mobile devices. The app even allows businesses to keep track of customers’ specific payment methods and performances of their own products. Essentially it’s a tool that shows how and where money is coming in and out.
My Social Mobile
My Social Mobile lets users customize social media notifications in very specific ways, like getting an alert when specific users have posted something or been tagged in something, or when a status has been commented on.
Kids Aid (South Africa)
This South African app offers users critical first aid information at the touch of a button. It includes a voice-guided CPR walk through, a GPS to tell where the nearest hospital is and emergency phone numbers that can be contacted directly through the app.