Tech & Innovation January 11, 2021 at 10:30 am

Why this messaging app created by a Sierra Leonean man could be Africa’s next Whatsapp

Abu Mubarik January 11, 2021 at 10:30 am

January 11, 2021 at 10:30 am | Tech & Innovation

Sierra Leonean man creates messaging app that could rival Whatsapp. (Public Domain photos)

The social messaging industry is going through a crisis as more and more users become apprehensive of privacy invasion. WhatsApp, the world’s biggest messaging platform, is forcing its users to share personal data with Facebook, its parent company, before February 8. If users decline, they will lose access, the platform said.

This has left many people concerned about their data to abandon the platform in favor of others like Signal and Telegram that are offering to protect the privacy of users. Since then, Signal and Telegram have seen a sharp rise in new users.

Another messaging app that is catching the attention of social media users, particularly in Africa and the diaspora, is Supfrica. The messaging app is designed like WhatsApp and virtually has every feature WhatsApp has. One doesn’t miss anything abandoning it WhatsApp for Supfrica, reports say.

The app was created by Hafiz Alhassan-Kanu, a Sierra Leonean national resident in the United States. “We want to create an app by Africans for Africans and eventually get it to be used globally,” Hafiz told Pan African Daily TV.

Hafiz first migrated to the U.S. with his mother when he was only nine years old. He was driven by the ambition to create Supfrica to rival giants in the industry and also give voice to the young tech geniuses on the continent.

The app was first released on December 11, 2020, with a little over just one hundred downloads. However, since WhatsApp announced that its users will have to share their personal data, Supfrica’s downloads have skyrocketed with over 100,000 downloads.

According to Tech Economy, the app is twice faster than WhatsApp. Sending a message on Supfrica is faster than sending a message on WhatsApp. A voice and video call in Africa is of high quality just as WhatsApp, according to a blog post. Also, a user can forward messages to more than 20 people, unlike WhatsApp. What’s more, Supfrica has no limit on the number of people one can add to a group and one can use 2G, 3G, and 4G perfectly without scrambling when calling voice and video calls.

The app is now among the top trends on Google Play Store Top Free Apps, rating favorable than WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook and WeChat. “It was supposed to be a test, it was not even an actual launch, but the test went viral,” Hafiz told Pan African Daily TV.

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