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An Audiobooks App Will Tell Unheard African Stories

To preserve the African tradition of oral storytelling, tech entrepreneur Herman Chinery-Hesse has created a new app, Afrikan Echoes. Launching in March, the app will contain 50 original stories in a multitude of African languages, and will continue to invite submissions to become the definitive repository of African oral history. Available on Android, with each story costing $1 to download, the app will feature a variety of styles, from action and autobiographies to history and romance. Chinery-Hesse believes Afrikan Echoes will allow Africans who cannot read the opportunity to consume stories from the continent. His vision is that one day, “if you drive into an African village, you’ll be able to find everyone sitting at the back of the chief’s house, speaker on, with an audiobook playing about some event in another African village, in another African country, and they’re all listening attentively,” he says.