Nigerian Invents Translator for Economic, Human Benefit

In Africa, a continent of more than 2,000 languages, a lack of translated information is often the key missing element between aid and the people it’s intended to help, according to Language Connect.

Remember the movie The Gods Must Be Crazy? 

Do you recall the clicks, and whistles used by the bushmen? Imagine trying to get directions for a good restaurant from that guy.

Most AI-based innovations explode the economic markets with vertical market spin-offs. While the United States and China get the headlines in tech news, dynamic innovation is coming out of Africa. OpenBinacle, founded by Gabriel Emmanuel, a 41-year-old Nigerian developer who studied robotics and ICT in India, created the most powerful African language translation technology available.

At age 18, Emmanuel was writing software to measure and analyze seismic data for the Nigerian government.

Gabriel Emmanuel, the Nigerian inventor of OBTalker, has solved one of Africa’s thorniest problems of language barriers. (photo from

Emmanuel, who is the CEO and founder of the Europe-Africa based technology company located in Bonn, Germany, said OBTranslate technology used machine learning, AI and big data analysis, which identified language patterns and tasks. The global Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform, known as OBTranslate, is the first of its kind, and it will mean millions if not hundreds of millions of jobs across the continent, not simply his native country. Actually, it’s expected to operate worldwide eventually.

In 2017, Emmanuel’s company, OpenBinacle came up with a messaging app that is similar to WhatsApp or Telegram. The app, OBTalker, is a real-time cloud-based messaging platform that supports voice and video calls, said a report by

OBTalker was capable of translating 26 languages, which had great economic results for a limited area. According to a website called

“Our goal is to break language communication barriers in rural and urban areas in Africa and it will enable self-driving cars, smartphones, linear robots and wireless technology to communicate and interact with Africans in their dialects,” said Gabriel.

“Farmers will be able to trade their goods and services without language communication barriers,” Emmanuel told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in an email.

This could be the key economic driver to affect more than 854 million people living in sub-Saharan Africa in rural areas without access to global markets, while 37 percent live in urban areas. Emmanuel went on to say:

“Our machine language, AI algorithms with neural network connections have curated billions of tasks waiting for Africans who can teach our machine their local dialect.“The first phase of the project comes with nine billion tasks, and the second phase comes with 12 billion tasks. “It is projected to hire about 100 million Africans, with a projection of 3.6 billion USD passive income for Africans with the capacity.”

The language translator will not only translate into more business, but will also help Non-Government Organizations, or NGOs, in their efforts to assist people with medical care in remote areas across Africa and elsewhere.