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Ivory Coast gets first indigenous smart phone

A customer with a Open G smartphone

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.

Reuters reports that the phone, called “Open G”, went on sale last month in the West African country.

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.”

He said the smart phone responds in 16 of Ivory Coast’s approximately 60 spoken languages, including Dioula, Senoufo and Bété.

Writing by Annabel Nwachukwu