Ten questions interview series with technology innovator, Raindolf Owusu – Co-founder of Oasis Websoft (Anansi OS), the brain behind the Anansi Operating System and the Bisa Mobile App.
Perceptions of Africa as a continent of poverty and despair is being challenged everyday by the growing number of Entrepreneurs coming up with innovative solutions to our everyday problems in Africa.
Mobile devices are replacing conventional health, commerce and communications infrastructure – allowing Africa to leapfrog the development path the west followed.
Ghana currently has a mobile-phone penetration of 80.5% which is helping developers find their feet in the Software development market. Below is an interview I had with Raindolf Owusu; Co-founder of Oasis Websoft. The brain behind the Anansi Operating System.
He works in 9 programming languages. His software and web projects include deploying Africa’s first web browser called Anansi web Browser , a linux distribution called Anansi operating system targeted at education and Anansi Calcpad, African Grading program and Dr Diabetes a simple web application that allows you to know your diabetes status online.
Dubbed the Mark Zuckerberg of Africa by Forbes Magazine, Raindolf is trying to put West Africa and Ghana on the global technology map.
1. Who is Raindolf Owusu? Describe yourself in 140-characters (Twitter style).
Raindolf Owusu is a 21-years old software developer who believes software can solve everyday problems in Africa. He develops in 9 programming languages.
2. What led you to the Oasis Websoft startup/project? What motivated you to start it?
I realized software from abroad are being entrenched into our system and these software were not built to suit our African setting. After I learned my first programming language I decided to build a company that will develop home grown software. Guys like Mark Zuckerburg (Facebook), David Karp (Tumblr) and the late Guido Sohne were my motivation to start-up a company at this age.
3. How did Oasis Websoft make it through the dot-com bubble?
We used social media to market our products from requirements stage to deployment. We have an interesting following on the Internet.
4. What kind of changes would you like to see in technology and innovation space in Ghana?
Collaborative software development will boost the technology advancement in Africa. You will realize that there are so many developers and start-ups building similar apps instead of coming together in the spirit of free and open source development to build one great apps.
5. What are you most excited about at the moment? Project? Opportunity? Contract?
I’m so excited about my next project. It aims to solve a huge problem on the Internet and it entails big data. I’m looking forward to a late October release.
6. What do you think the software industry in Ghana and Africa will look like in 5 years from now?
It will be a huge sector and Africa will also be known as a technological continent besides the notion we produce raw agricultural products. It will generate a lot of income and employment. Software companies in Ghana will be in a position to handle huge government contracts and 60 % of software used in Africa will be home built software.
7. You founded Oasis Websoft alone, what are the advantages and disadvantages of doing it alone? How is this project funded?
The advantages of founding my startup – Oasis Websoft alone made it possible for me to accomplish most of my tech visions I had when I started it, and I single-handedly disrupted the tech industry with some of my software like Anansi Operating system.
As at now Oasis Websoft is well placed and respected as one of the best startups in Ghana. The disadvantage – I wasn’t able to focus on one thing; I was doing a little bit of everything from public relation to marketing. Currently we are a team of four talented guys namely myself, Tawheed Abdul-Raheem, Jeffery Aboagye-Asare and Aaron Nii Adom Nathan.
Our projects are funded by our services we offer in web designs, softwares and mobile apps we build for companies as well as individuals.
8. Can you convince my readers to start using Oasis Websoft products/services in under 50 words?
Our softwares are free to download and utilize. Software like Anansi O.S. keeps you free from viruses and also our browser has offline features like a web camera and download manager that makes your browsing experience fun and our mobile apps keeps you informed with news – Oasis Websoft Products.
9. If you could only give one piece of advice to someone starting up a startup, what would it be?
The only way to a great work is to love what you do. Find your passion and you will find ways of mastering it.
10. Are you currently looking for funding/support? How can Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists reach you?
I have funded these projects from my pocket and I will be glad to have angel investors invest in my good works. They can kindly send me a mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or go to my website www.oasiswebsoft.com
Raindolf was recently interviewed on the Be Bold Show (a show that is empowering the youth and also exposing good talents from Ghana). Take a look below and share your comments.