Digitizing African languages -The Business Chain Reactions

Digitizing African languages -The Business Chain Reactions

This is what you should do when you discover a gold mine. He did something strategic when he found a goldmine. There is a certain man that discovered a goldmine in 1994, when he discovered this gold mine he did certain things that are worthy of emulation.

Should I tell you what he did now or later in the article. Let me start at the beginning and finish it at the end of the article. The first thing the man did was that he did not tell anyone that he had discovered a gold mine. He hid it from everybody. He then resigned from the organization where he was working so he could give full attention to the exploration of the gold mine.

He isolated himself in order to explore the wealthy opportunity of the goldmine. The man succeeded and became the wealthiest man in his time. Who is this man? You are free to guess, I will answer at the end of this article.

Gold mine is simply an opportunity for wealth creation. The digitization of African languages is a goldmine to those that can see with the lenses of an entrepreneur. A gold mine that needs to be explored, because until you explore a goldmine it will remain non-beneficial to anybody.

 This article will wear you the lenses of an entrepreneur to see the goldmine in digitization of African languages.

 The Business Chain Reaction in Digitizing African languages.

According to UNESCO about 43% of the world’s 6000 languages are now considered endangered. African languages are facing the chances of extinction in the future. That means the less people speak and use these languages, the more likely they will be forgotten and become obsolete.

The population of Africa according to the World Bank stands at 1.2 Billion.  The countries in Africa are assumed at the international level to speak either English, French, Portuguese. The reality is that many African do speak these languages and many don’t know how to speak these languages except their mother languages.   

According to Strive Masiyiwa “assuming 70% speak the international languages and 30% do not speak, that means we have an estimate of 360 million people that can not speak these foreign languages. This is an opportunity when we digitize our Africa mother languages.

These will be the business chain reactions that will be generated from digitizing the African mother languages;

  1. New Market for Smartphones:

Imagine the smartphone can operate and can be operated in African languages such as Yoruba, Shona, Hausa, Igbo, Swahili, Zulu etc. There are people that are currently in Africa who don’t use smartphones because they don’t understand the language these devices speak. If African languages are digitized, it means these people will be able to buy and operate smartphones. This opens up a new market for this digital device and many other technological devices. Marketing smartphones to the 360m excluded African population will definitely increase the revenue of the phone industry.

  1. New Market for Digital Products:

Digital products are the products designed to be used alongside smartphone technologies. These are software products in the form of websites, platforms and mobile applications that are tailored to create certain values for the smartphone market target.

Some of the examples are, Sasai App, Vetifly App, Uber app, Vaya App, Cleancity App, 3S Rules website, Facebook App, Twitter App, Airbnb App, Pollstaker, Codecitty website etc.

 When contents of these platforms are translated into African languages and digitised, there will be new demands for these digital products.

  1. Bridging the Digital Divides:

One of the ways to bridge the African digital divide is through the digitization of African languages and contents. When digital devices speak our local languages those that can not speak foreign languages will be encouraged to buy these devices. As more people buy these devices and access the internet ,the digital divide is being bridge in that way.

As Nelson Mandela said “If you talk to a man in the language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his mother language that goes to his heart.“ When digital devices start operating in African languages, it will be a sure marketing strategy to sell to this new markets.

  1. Data Mining Opportunities:

 One of the monetisation opportunities of the digital age is data mining. He that has the data has the wealth. A country that has the data, has the economic power in the digital age. A company that controls a lot of data will grow rapidly in revenue. Some of the examples are;

a. Google LLC: through google search, millions of people search for one information or the other on a daily basis. Google utilise these searches as data for keyword targeted ads. According to Statista Google 2019 revenue was $113.26b which is the highest contributor to Alphabet business.

b. Facebook. Through the social activities of billions of people on facebook. Facebook analyses such data and provides targeted ads for businesses. This is their major revenue model. According to Macrotrend Facebook’s 2019 revenue was $70.7b.

 So, the digitization of African languages will come with great data mining opportunity that will lead to creation of new products based on the data and other forms of monetization opportunities.

Let us continue the story we started in the beginning. The person who discovered the gold mine is Jeff bezos. That discovery gave birth to Amazon and the company’s market capitalization is $1trn.

 The African languages and contents may go into extinction if African entrepreneurs don’t rise and digitize them.

 It is time to hear from you. What other opportunities do you think digitizing African languages and contents will create? Comment below.

 Do not forget to subscribe to our newsletter so you can receive our weekly articles sent to your inbox. Also download the 3S Rules free sample, it will trigger you to discover a gold mine.

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