Ivory Coast Develops “Superphone” Aimed at Educating Illiterates

Due to the high rate of illiteracy, Ivory Coast has developed a superphone to assist the less educated overcome difficulties. The superphone is said to possess a voice control system that enables users to have access to information in 50 African languages.

Speaking to Floride Jogbé, one of the customers, she stated that “It’s a phone that can easily be adapted for us. And it’s a phone which will be of great help to one of my parents who cannot read. I am glad it is now possible for a parent to have a letter in front of him or her, take a picture of it, and for it to have it read back in his or her native language. And I liked that part”.

Rate is Illiterates in Ivory Coast

An official report suggests that Ivory Coast harbors about 40 percent of the illiterate. However, the new voice-activated control system is a powerful tool and software that will help the older generations.

The smartphone uses a unique operating system called “Kone”  that aims to cover 17 languages spoken in Ivory Coast. 

The Founder of Superphone Speaks

The president and founder of the company that makes the “Superphone”, Alain Capo-Chichi, says the idea behind the making of the superphone is to suppress the frustration illiterates face with the use of technology.

Furthermore, Alain Capo-Chichi said “we have a large portion of the population that is illiterate. And so, if we bring a computer or a phone as it existed before, our parents must be able to read first and then write, to communicate. I gave my father his first phone 15 years ago. He was very happy, but also very embarrassed to use it because every time he has to ask someone to help him dial a number. When he gets a message, he needs help reading it”. 

Cerco Company Aim to Input 1,000 Languages 

However, the company plans to input about 1,000 African languages on the phone and reach close to a billion people in the future. The founder of the superphone emphasizes how effective the languages will aid easy understanding.

 He said “speaking is three times faster than writing, so when I speak, instead of writing, on one hand, it’s fast, which makes life easier, but on the other hand, we have an engine that allows you to interpret what you said to provide an appropriate and adapted answer to what you expect. We have done a lot of work on African languages, so it allows our parents who are not literate to directly use their phone in their language”.


Ojeyemi Adeleye
Ojeyemi Adeleye
I am Ojeyemi Adeleye, a theatre arts graduate of the University of Ilorin and a masters degree holder in Dramatic Arts, Obafemi Awolowo Univerisity. I am a content writer who believes the world can be brought to your doorsteps through writing.

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