Internet data in Africa is expensive. With Internet penetration in Africa having a growth rate of an estimated 8,497% increase from the year 2000 to 2017, finding ways around how to have cheap internet access is always welcomed.
Emmanuel Nyantakyi is a 15-year-old Ghanaian who just completed Junior High School. Frustrated by how much data he consumed watching videos on the internet and ‘roaming’ on social media, Emmanuel asked his brother, Nana Kwame Nyantakyi who is a Software Engineer to find a way to managing his data.
However, his brother declined his request and gave an even better option considering how a bid to promote tech in Africa in on an increasing high.
“This is going to be your first project (in software engineering),” Nana Kwame told his 15-year-old brother Emmanuel.
So the hard work towards data management begun for Nyantakyi. With no knowledge of coding, Emmanuel had to be guided in learning code languages as part of a process that ‘felt difficult’ for him in every aspect.
“Everything felt so difficult for me. The language seemed a little bit confusing and I suffered a lot to make DataBank," Emmanuel Nyantakyi tells Business Insider SAA.
“I stayed up late at night to programme. Sometimes I cried when my brother scolded because the language completely left me at sea. It was just a matter of time before I adapted to the language I knew all those sufferings was for a good cause.”
DataBank is designed to give any user who downloads the app total control over managing their data.
For a 100MB data plan, a user can choose to dedicate 70MB for use and save the other 30MB due to the inputs into the app. The 30MB is saved on the phone at shared preference once the plan is activated.
DataBank also has an option to record live data use you give an idea where the data went. Notifications are also sent when 50% and 80% of the data is used respectively.
After 95% of the data is used, Android versions KitKat and below will have data connections turned off automatically. For higher Android versions, the app will notify the user if they want to turn off their data.
The Junior High School graduate spent a month developing the app. His elder brother’s contribution to developing his app was to teach the coding language and show him how things worked in the Android studio. When he got stuck, Nana Kwame will take Emmanuel through how to get out.
Sorry Apple users, the app is on Android only with no immediate plans due to Apple’s complicated work studio for a beginner.
On his education path, Emmanuel Nyantakyi who is yet to enroll in a Senior High School has not decided yet if Computer Engineering is the path he wants to take. For him, it’s just one step at a time.