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Google adds 24 new languages to its ‘Translate’ platform. 11 of them are African languages



Tech giant Google has revealed that it has added 24 new languages, ten of which are African to its Google Translate platform.

The new includes are in Africa, including Lingala – Democratic Republic of Congo, Twi – Ghana, and Tigrinya – Eritrea.

Others are languages from Togo, Sierra Leone, Mali, South Africa, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Namibia, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.

Google Translate is a multilingual neural machine translation service developed by Google to translate text, documents, and websites from one language into another.

The US-based company through Isaac Caswell, a senior software engineer, Google Translate, said the new addition is aimed at helping those whose languages “aren’t represented in most technology”,

“For years, Google Translate has helped break down language barriers and connect communities all over the world …this is also a technical milestone for Google Translate,” Caswell added.

See the new languages below:

  1. Assamese, used by about 25 million people in Northeast India
  2. Aymara, used by about two million people in Bolivia, Chile and Peru
  3. Bambara, used by about 14 million people in Mali
  4. Bhojpuri, used by about 50 million people in northern India, Nepal and Fiji
  5. Dhivehi, used by about 300,000 people in the Maldives
  6. Dogri, used by about three million people in northern India
  7. Ewe, used by about seven million people in Ghana and Togo
  8. Guarani, used by about seven million people in Paraguay and Bolivia, Argentina and Brazil
  9. Ilocano, used by about 10 million people in northern Philippines
  10. Konkani, used by about two million people in Central India
  11. Krio, used by about four million people in Sierra Leone
  12. Kurdish (Sorani), used by about eight million people, mostly in Iraq
  13. Lingala, used by about 45 million people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo,
  14. Central African Republic, Angola and the Republic of South Sudan
  15. Luganda, used by about 20 million people in Uganda and Rwanda
  16. Maithili, used by about 34 million people in northern India
  17. Meiteilon (Manipuri), used by about two million people in Northeast India
  18. Mizo, used by about 830,000 people in Northeast India
  19. Oromo, used by about 37 million people in Ethiopia and Kenya
  20. Quechua, used by about 10 million people in Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, and surrounding countries
  21. Sanskrit, used by about 20,000 people in India
  22. Sepedi, used by about 14 million people in South Africa
  23. Tigrinya, used by about eight million people in Eritrea and Ethiopia
  24. Tsonga, used by about seven million people in Eswatini, Mozambique, South Africa, and Zimbabwe
  25. Twi, used by about 11 million people in Ghana

The new additions make it 133 the number of languages it can interpret using its algorithms.


Kenyan money transfer startup, Kyanda, makes incursion into South Africa



Foremost Kenyan money transfer startup, Kyanda, has made a bold incursion into the southern African fintech market by launching its operations in South Africa.

The launching of the money transfer app which aims at helping users make all sorts of transactions at as low a cost as possible, according to its founder, Collins Kathuli, will help “users make cheap and fast money transfers, purchase airtime, and pay bills, among other things.”

Launched in February 2020, the fintech startup has processed over three million transactions since its formation, and Kathuli says Kyanda’s its goal is to build a payment ecosystem that serves both Kenya and Africa as a whole.

“We have other markets in our pipeline. This would be achieved best once we establish the market fit for our products, and of course after we’ve built firm roots in the current locations we’re present,” said Kathuli.

With over US$10 billion being moved within South Africa each year, and over 24 million South Africans sending money to each other daily, South Africa is the first stop on a broader expansion journey, according to Disrupt Africa.

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Nigerian fintech startup, CredPal, secures more funding from Cairo Angels syndicate



A Nigerian fintech startup, CredPal, has raised funding from the Cairo Angels Syndicate Fund (CASF), a micro-venture capital fund, to expand its “buy now, pay later” incentive to customers.

Launched in 2018 by the duo of Fehintolu Olaogun and Olorunfemi Jegede, CredPal has placed itself as one of Nigeria’s most preferred consumer credit platform that gives buyers the freedom to “buy now and pay later” and helps merchants acquire more customers to increase their sales.

According to Disrupt Africa, the Google-backed CredPal has over 85,000 active customers and over 4,000 onboarded merchants, with the company announcing in March it had raised US$15 million in funding to expand its consumer credit offerings in Nigeria and to scale across Africa.

While speaking on the new funding, Olaogun said:

“This support from Cairo Angels Syndicate Fund reinforces our mission to improve the quality of life of Africans through easy access to consumer credit.

“My co-founder and I are very pleased to have them as investment partners and can’t wait for how much we’ll achieve together.”

The Cairo Angels is Egypt’s first formal network of angel investors, and since its formation has been one of the most active early-stage investors in startups and high-growth businesses in the Middle East and Africa, with 31 investee companies across 18 different sectors.

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