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First smartphone made in Ivory Coast caters to local users

by Reuters
Wednesday, 24 August 2022 12:54 GMT

A worker packs Open G smartphones, which can speak local Ivorian languages, at the factory where the phones are manufactured in Grand Bassam, Ivory Coast July 22, 2022. REUTERS/Luc Gnago

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Ivory Coast's new smartphone aimed to improve accessibility via voice commands in local languages

ABIDJAN, Aug 24 (Reuters) - An entrepreneur in Ivory Coast has created the country's first locally-made smartphone, which aims to improve accessibility with voice commands in local languages for users who can't read and write.

The phone, called "Open G", went on sale last month in the West African country. It can understand commands and respond in 16 of Ivory Coast's approximately 60 spoken languages, including Dioula, Senoufo and Bété.

Founder Alain Capo-Chichi said he wanted to create the phone to help people like his parents, who are illiterate, use features like transferring money and sending messages.

"In Africa the problem we have... is that reading and writing is not accessible to everyone," he said. "People can use their smartphones much more easily by simply speaking to them."

Reporting by Media Coulibaly and Loucoumane Coulibaly; Writing by Anait Miridzhanian and Nellie Peyton; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky

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