Ayoba, MTN’s instant messaging platform and super app has won the 2020 Africa Digital Award for Best Mobile Application in Africa.
The award was presented during the event ceremony hosted by Africa Digital Festival to honour Africa’s Digital Champions during the year.
According to the company, the award reflects its achievements during the course of the year.
Despite the pandemic, the app reportedly witnessed a sharp rise in user especially in the fourth quarter. It explained that the increase was driven by a positive response by users to the many significant updates to the app.
Connecting Africa through content
Launched in August by MTN, Ayoba is a platform for customers to primarily send and receive messages. The platform has grown into a super app that offers free access to an ecosystem of digital and rich media services which includes channels, micro-apps and payment solutions to its millions of active monthly users.
In November 2019, Ayoba hit a milestone of 1 million active users in just 4 Months
To make communication easier the app now supports over 22 local languages like Pidgin, Yoruba, isiZulu, isiXhosa, Swahili, Hausa, French and English spoken across the MTN markets.
Ayoba is currently operational in Nigeria and several other MTN markets including Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Congo Brazzaville, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Afghanistan and South Africa.
Over 124 content channels and 120 free games
Ayoba started the year as an instant messaging app with a small offering of content channels. But it has since grown to over 124 content channels during the course of the year.
The channels include news and official COVID-19 updates, music and music news, full gaming offering, lifestyle updates and education across 7 languages.
Ayoba has also grown into a super app that offers services like MusicTime, which provides 200 new tracks every week for users; and Gaming which has more than 120 free games.
The startup, recently partnered with MTN Mobile Money (MoMo) to allow its users to send and receive money. This is currently available in Cameroon, Ghana and Uganda.
Now, the app is adding MicroApps, a feature that allows lightweight web apps developed by third parties to address a specific community need. These apps can be accessed from within the Ayoba app.
Like the app itself, MicroApps are zero-rated for MTN customers, which means they can be used even when the user has zero data balance.
Speaking on the new feature, Nolan Wolff, Head of Ayoba explained that MicroApps was designed to bring opportunity for African developers.
‘We are so proud to launch MicroApps. One of our key goals for Ayoba is to build a platform that brings opportunity for African developers. MicroApps will allow local developers to create apps that reflect local culture and values and solve local challenges. It’s an incredibly exciting community development platform.’Nolan Wolff, Head of ayoba
Ayoba’s goal is to bring more people into the digital world by providing them with affordable and simplified digital communication services.
The recent award shows that Ayoba has been making considerable progress towards achieving its goal.