Serigne Barro, partner and general manager at People Input. Image by HumanIPO.
Serigne Barro, partner and general manager at People Input, told the Digital Services Africa conference in Sandton, Johannesburg today apps played an important role in the promotion of an African entrepreneurial ecosystem.
HumanIPO reported last year People Input was planning to launch Africa’s first App Store for French speaking Africans and its Orange Ramadan app is among its portfolio.
“Apps can be a place where people can meet and share experiences on entrepreneurships,” Barro said
He said there is still a lack of a healthy ecosystem in Africa, referring to needed media partnerships, a risk appetite from local investors and the assurance of social and financial impact on the local population.
“If you succeed, you should not have to wait for a radio or TV station to talk about what you did or wait until a TV station from overseas broadcast about it. We need to form media partnerships,” he said.
Predominantly developing Android and iOS apps, People Input also sees apps as a bridge to connect the African continent with other markets, such as the United States and Europe.
“We firmly believe in apps because apps [as part of] mobile services can reach [across],” he said.
However, Barro acknowledged the challenge of providing services equally suitable to French and English speaking countries has hampered success so far, but have not deterred the company in its determination to succeed in catering for the whole market.