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Tuesday, 30 September 2014 23:15

There are quite a few mobile network operators in Africa who are yet to open their APIs here, and names like Orange, Tigo, or Safaricom are just a few examples we could bring into the discussion right now. While developer communities here are still fervently waiting for their arrival, here are a few interesting details on what makes for a successful API and why should you consider joining the team of software developers in Africa.

Current Situation

Orange is one of the MNOs that has decided to open APIs in a limited manner and it has used its smart Orange Lab initiative in order to market it throughout West Africa. Nevertheless, the APIs are yet to be adopted by the large crowd. Tigo on the other hand has also considered opening its APIs, but has not yet launched a large campaign in this regard and is still failing to throw a hand at the interested communities. Safaricom can no be found in Kenya with the sweet promise of a number of upcoming APIs in the near future.

The lack of current innovation and uptake is one of the main difficulties the African public is hitting against. Many software developers are working hard at continuously improving their skills in hopes of one day collaborating with one of the biggest names in the industry here through their APIs. If you cont among them, you can check out sites like www.zigo.co.za and search for temporary job arrangements to keep yourself busy and grow within a company. Simply type in the name of the job you are interested in, the name of the company or the title within its location (town or city) and see if you can come across an attractive offer. You can also manually browse jobs or upload your CV to increase your visibility in the work field. With thousands of choices to look into, you should not have a hard time coming across a variety of software developer positions that best fit your needs and skills.

The “Threat” Posed By MNOs

The common belief is that MNOs will eventually steal the ideas provided by software developers concerning new products; another similar issue is that developers think MNOs might also deny their access to the products they have personally created. Payment models that enable access to APIs therefore need to be carefully crayoned in order to eliminate the lack of trust.

How Good APIs Need To Look Like

Free APIs are the most appealing to developers, as they can encourage a lot of activity and trigger innovation. The lack of large investments however can lead to canceling or limitations for APIs on behalf of MNOs; and this will leave software developers frustrated and forced to look for different jobs. There are also business models in which the developer pays for access – and the freemium model is one of the most recommended as it stimulates innovation. The model in which the developer gets paid via revenue shares is also common and it can offer excellent incentives for developers to start using the APIs.


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