In what many refer to as an excellent initiative to sustain African languages in the modern era, a young Nigerian-American woman known as Omolabake Adenle has developed a software which teaches about five local African languages with expectations to expand the scope in the near future.
According to reports, the woman who doubles as an investment strategist revealed that, she picked the motivation to build the software after observing her cousins who learn English alphabets through an app. Adenle said she thought it helpful to develop a platform to help them learn Yoruba which is their native language.
With this idea, she initially developed a mobile application named SpeakYoruba which was uploaded on play store to serve their immediate need and that of others. This was later taken off the platform. Moving forward, Adenle took the decision to extend the language revolution to the continental level under her SpeakAfrica Project.
She has built voice recognition and speech synthesis software for five African languages namely Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo, Kiswahili, and Kinyarwanda. This software has capacity to fully understand and digitize spoken African languages. The new software will officially launch in the fourth quarter of 2021.
“A few years ago when I decided I want to start a business, I thought I could revisit this app that did well and see if I could come up with something that could build upon that. I wanted to add a feature that would allow children to say something to the app, and the app will tell them whether they said the word currently. It was at that point that I realized that voice recognition wasn’t really available for African languages,” Adenle told Techpoint Africa.
Adenle, who is also the founder of an app development studio, Ajala.ai, was recently rewarded with the DEI In Voice award from Women in Voice (WiV) for the initiative. This project undoubtedly restores hope for African languages which faces threats of extinction, solidify the major languages and also make information easily accessible to more Africans, especially those who only understand their native languages.
Nigeria is unquestionably on the right track when it comes to tech revolution. The West African giant is already Africa’s biggest technology market in terms of Internet users and mobile subscriptions, and it has the continent’s second-highest tech-startup density. Lagos is quickly becoming a tech center, with over 400 startups valued at more than $2 billion.