Thursday is a special day for technology. This is because of #TechThursday. I am a social media fanatic. That’s why we also have #JollofJeudi. But we are not talking about #GhanaJollof in this #blogh post, we are talking about Ghanaian mobile apps. I often ask Ghanaians I meet about which Ghanaian built or Ghanaian focused mobile apps they have on their smart phones. Majority tend to have zero. Most Ghanaians have Whatsapp, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and GMail on their smart phones, be it the Nokia 8 or others. So I did some research on Ghanaian mobile apps others use regularly. I discuss my findings below.
One of the most popular apps was ExpressPay which is an app for bill and other types of payments. I have used to buy internet credit for family, as well as mobile credit for myself, family and friends. I also use it to send mobile money (especially if the amounts are lower than 100). I just started using the Kwese iFlix app and I have been using expressPay to pay my Kwese bills for more than a year now. Hubtel.me is another popular payment app, stemming from the days of mPower. I have used Slydepay to make purchases in the past as well. Another person mentioned Flexipay.
Kasahorow is also a favorite for many. This app originates from GhanaThink — a kasa dot ghanathink dot org project — which enables African languages on the web. A similar app is Nkyea which grew while targeting mostly Ghanaian language learners who live abroad, focusing on iOS. Imagine if we had an app for news in local languages in audio formats? Well, we built a voice-related app called Tigo Kasade at Rancard. I mostly use Google News to receive new items. Every now and then I visit Citinewsroom.com. They have an app too- Citi News App which some friends use. Others use the Myjoyonline app.
There was a lot of controversy around the ghanapostGPS app when it launched, which showed the ugly, unwarranted, corrupt nature of government bidding which needs to become a thing of the past. There are several articles you can read about this. That said, the #JackWhereAreYou app has gotten some great traction in Ghana (like it should with all the money backing it). It is an app to generate a digital address for use in addressing and posting in Ghana. It is good that the Ghana government has started to ask for the GhanaPostGPS address for government business. This would force more Ghanaians to use technology, which is something that those of us in the tech space would love to see. “Increase our addressible market”. :-) We can’t talk about this app without mentioning SnooCODE, an app that generates addresses as well and helps users navigate to these addresses.
Ghana is a very religious country, and that is why churches in Ghana must do more to help Ghanaians adopt technology more. We can see good examples in the use of the Methodist hymnal and the Anglican Hymnal (these apps are mostly used on Sundays). Asoriba had a lot of hype a few years ago when it was winning many pitch competitions. They buckled down to work on their business and have made good strides. Recently, Asoriba and expressPay were instrumental in an ICGC related app, before all the Mensa Otabil bad news hit. It’s awesome to see ICGC embracing technology, I hope to see more religious bodies in Ghana following suit. Some Ghanaian churches have apps that have good download numbers but I am yet to hear anyone say they use those apps.
A friend uses AudioRhema. While I have installed AFRadio, I have not used it much. Osiki is an app built by a few friends for voting on competitions, etc — MissGhana and co. Lifestyles make me think about (Barcamp) Takoradi. It is not surprising that the Ahwenepa has some Takoradi roots too. :-) It is an app for finding and buying African fashion items. The Tress App is another app that has been mentioned but I don’t feel like I can be a Tress user :-) This is because I don’t buy hair products and don’t keep hair like my wife and other women do 😅
I love the ECG app! I have been using to buy electricity (credit) since April 2018. I run into some issues recently and emailed them and they responded as well. Electricity Company of Ghana’s customer service is one of the best in Ghana. I have also used the E-Prepaid app though I believe the ECG app is better. A friend also mentioned that they have used the GWCL customer app for water. I don’t buy water from Ghana Water Company Limited though, we have a local supplier where we live in Oyarifa.
Talking about jollof, we need some popular Ghanaian built food related apps. Abinchi is trying to get there (and is not launched yet), Waakye Locator tried and did not see the light of day, etc. Abinchi is an app which tells you which supermarket, food vendor or farmer has food products available for sale at a huge discount or for free. Jumiafood (formerly Hellofood) is also an app that users use to decide what to eat and not to order. Jumia is not from Ghana or Nigeria though, ICYMI.
I was a judge for the Tigo Digital Changemakers competition when the Autism Aid App emerged a winner. This health related app provides education and awareness around autism in Ghana. There are various education related apps as well. There is the #AnanseTheTeacher App which has some educational games and is brewing with more content. Talking about Tigo, some people mentioned their use of the My Vodafone App. Another suggestion was the My Busy internet app which is used to buy data, check data balance etc. Another friend mentioned scandistin which is for scanning scratch cards which I have stopped buying thanks to expressPay.
I only heard about UncleFitter via the social media post. It is a mechanic on demand. They service your car at your home or other places. Now that’s a very useful app! Fuel Connect is an app to help users find the nearest fuel stations. You would agree that finding the station is not enough and this app could provide a lot more features. When I was not using a #vimride, I used Uber, which is not a Ghanaian built or focused app. Dropping and Yenko are though. No one in the social media post mentioned Taxify but it is gaining traction (also not a Ghanaian app).
My good friends Eyram Tawia and Nana Kwabena Owusu have been working on various apps from the Leti Arts stable. I am a big fan of their latest app, AfroComix. I used it a couple of times to buy content. My current screensaver (coming to a #NokiaLovesAndroid) themed post near you) is one I bought using this app. Leti Arts is into gaming and has also built the #AfricasLegends and My Jorley apps. There are other game related Ghanaian apps, paramount of which is Oware 3D built by Setriakor Nyomi.
Are there other Ghanaian apps that you use regularly? Leave a comment on this blog or on this Twitter tweet or Facebook post. You might also be interested in these previous posts I wrote — #VimTechList: 5 top African built Android games on Google Play, Leti Games — building computer games in Africa. Leti Games named amongst Ghana’s Innovation Heroes, Uncompromising Passion, Getting used to fast, convenient payments online, again, etc