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Gaming Firm Makes African-made Video Meeting App

Eight weeks, that’s the amount of time it took for a Kenya-based company to develop a video conferencing application. Gumzo, which means “chatting” in Swahili, is free to join and costs only $1 per week for users who want to host meetings. The app was made in the offices of Usiku Games, a Nairobi company that until a few months ago, focused on making video games for the African market. In the wake of COVID-19, only a small staff routinely reports to the company’s office. But that didn’t stop Usiku’s coders and programmers from quickly developing and rolling out the video conference app. Jay Shapiro, Usiku’s CEO, said Gumzo is built to be used on the wide variety of devices used across Africa. “Africa is a mobile phone first continent and so you have to have a platform that works on mobile devices [that are] older, less memory and so that’s why we built a download app that is web-based and is accessible on all smart phones or PC or tablets to try and reach as many people as we can,” he said.