NewTech Friday: ToumAI Analytics – Ensuring no voice goes unheard

Digital Reinvention
16/02/2024 Interview
profile picture of Yousef Rahmani

Yousef Rahmani

ToumAI Analytics

COO

ToumAI is on a mission to elevate African languages and insights, using advanced analytics to bridge the linguistic gap. The Morocco-based startup, which was selected for the prestigious CATAPULT: Inclusion Africa 2023 program, is harnessing the resurgence of local African languages for both cultural and business benefits. Its COO Youcef Rahmani tells us more about this remarkable initiative. 

What led to the creation of ToumAI?

The genesis of ToumAI is deeply rooted in our founders' personal experiences as native speakers of local African languages. Growing up, they often felt the world sidelined these languages in favor of more ‘global’ languages, which overshadowed the rich cultural heritage and communication potential of their native tongues. However, with the proliferation of diverse media forms, from social media and podcasts to voice notes on platforms like WhatsApp, there's a clear resurgence of local languages. This resurgence isn't just cultural; it holds profound business implications.

For instance, with a 30% illiteracy rate in Africa, which spikes to 50% in sub-Saharan West Africa, a significant portion of the population is effectively shut out from many qualitative studies due to their primary mode of communication being oral rather than written. There's a goldmine of insights waiting to be tapped in these voices. This isn't just about data; it's about inclusivity, enabling the unbanked and often marginalized sections of society to interact with modern technologies and participate in Africa's digital transformation. Recognizing this untapped potential can unlock myriad business opportunities, from deepening customer understanding to gauging sentiments around urban public services.

Our journey gained momentum when key players such as banks, telecom companies and infrastructure funds acknowledged the potential of our technology. These sectors, in their quest for enhancing customer satisfaction and broadening data collection, realized the need for a tool that could bridge the linguistic gap and ensure no voice, no matter how marginalized, went unheard. Thus, ToumAI was born, with a mission to not only recognize and analyze local languages but to elevate them, ensuring that every individual, irrespective of their linguistic background, has an equal voice in the digital age.

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