Africa’s Talking releases own API for mobile developers in Africa

Africa’s Talking, a Kenya-based mobile solutions firm, is developing mobile applications it says could change lives of the half a billion people in Africa who own mobile phones. Barely two weeks back, it released a new Application Program Interface (API) for SMS-based developers, the API has 460 users already.

Africa’s Talking is now looking at making their API service available across Africa beginning with East Africa.

Eston Kimani, CEO and co-founder Africa’s Talking, explained to HumanIPO that the Application Program Interface (API) is revolutionary as it helps developers concentrate on their application, while Africa’s Talking ensure they have seamless access to all Short Message Service Centre (SMSC) gateways in Kenya without need to be PRSP/CSPs or need to have a CCK licence.

“With this connection, their SMSes are guaranteed delivery in the Sender IDs they want. Otherwise, it has been a problem with international gateways being blocked by local Mobile Service Providers (MSPs),” he said.
The API will enable developers build their own SMS based apps. It will be able developers connect a short code, use an alphanumeric sender id and send SMSes across Kenya. The API was available for testing in late June, the company says.
Africa’s Talking services include SMSLeopard.com, api.africastalking.com, and SMSVoices.com.
Teddy Warria, a partner at the firm says a better version of SMSVoices.com will be out soon.
According to the founders, the API for developers, api.africastalking.com is brand new. Africa’s Talking Application Program Interface (API) will help developers to send and receive bulk SMS from their applications.
Warria says the firm targets mobile application developers, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution providers, and Corporate I.T departments and firms that use bulk SMS.
“With our APIs, developers can use USSD or Short codes without need to worry about the hosting or management of the same. They just get their data from within their applications in real time”, Warria told HumanIPO.
According to Kimani, the cost of doing business in Kenya is high in terms of back up and time. Some processes especially with the MSPs take long to implement.

Warria commented that the Kenyan startup scene is active and vibrant and shows a lot of potential. It’s not long before somebody develops a major solution that will turn heads globally. However, the startup scene needs to move outside Nairobi County to the other major cities in other counties.
“There are sheer number of opportunities in Africa, Africa has a billion people, this is a huge consumer market, Africa is an entrepreneurs ‘paradise’, especially SMS-based web technologies because SMS is King in Africa,” he said.
Africa’s Talking Ltd, won the Hub Ventures ICT Innovation Accelerator Program in 2012, ongoing in Silicon Valley, represented Kimani, until end of this month and last year’s ‘The Next Big Thing’ by Business Daily Africa.
Headquartered in Nairobi, the firm was founded in Jan 2010 by Kimani and Samuel Gikandi.

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