The new application is the first video-calling app made in Africa and is way cheaper than the popular foreign products currently dominating the market.
Gumzo is a free to join service and only costs $1 per week for those who wish to host or organize events.
The Nairobi-based company Usiku Games, known for creating video games targeting the African market, took eight weeks to develop the application whose features guarantee safety and privacy, it offers both video and audio capabilities and is for the local market.
“We started building Gumzo as a direct response to the Covid-19 crisis. We saw the way that people are feeling increased isolation and anxiety from not being able to directly connect with the family, friends, and loved ones. We know that millions of people are turning to international video conferencing tools like Zoom, WebEx and Microsoft Teams”-Usiku Games
In recent months since the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic, most companies and learning institutions either voluntarily or acting on government advice are allowing their staff to operate from home. The institutions are now conducting meetings and classes on the web, which has led to the rise in popularity of major video-conferencing brands globally and Africa. These include; Zoom, Whatsapp, Viber, Skype, Microsoft Teams, WebEx, FaceTime, and Tango, among others.
The Kenyan product offers quality, allows for an unlimited number of callers in a room for an unlimited duration at a reasonably low price, and requires only a registered phone number to register for the service.
As much as big companies can facilitate their employees to work from home, Kenyan students, including teachers, on the other hand, do not have this kind of luxury; not all of them have access to the internet and these digital facilities, then there is the issue of cost.
The Gumzo app is a step in the right direction, with lower fees and the fact that it is a local product being their crucial selling point. There is still the issue of the digital gap and its significance in bridging the digital divide.
As a way of giving Usiku Games plans to give 50% of all collected fees as donations to select organizations.