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How to build great software products for Africa

February 27, 2023
September 21, 2022
3 mins read
Astor George
Astor George
Brand Storyteller

Editor's note:

Many groups are involved in creating and deploying software products: from product managers, engineers, and designers to product marketers and customer value innovation teams.

For this year’s International Programmers’ Day (13th of September 2022), we spotlighted engineers at the centre of building sustainable products.

During an hour-long Twitter Space on “Building and deploying products that work in the African context,” engineering leaders from MTN, Microsoft and Kora shared ideas that can direct the planning, building and deploying of tech solutions across Africa. Here is a quick recap of the session:

Kehinde Ladipo

On what it means for a product to work.

“A product that works, to me, means that it serves the purpose for which it was intended. It’s a product that delivers on its value proposition, is easy for the intended customers to use, and ultimately solves a real problem for them.”

Kehinde Ladipo is a Software Engineer on the Microsoft Mixed Reality team. Before Microsoft, she worked with teams that built bespoke software and delivered consultancy services for clients across Retail, Banking, Insurance, Telecoms and the Health sector. Follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Chigozie Madubuko

On how backend engineers can care about user experience.

“It depends on the type of product. For user-focused products, there are specific metrics to track. For example, we deal with payments at Kora, and how we deal with this from a backend POV is by tracking metrics like the success rate of our transactions and the rate at which users drop off. Engineers in charge of products that aren’t user-focused may have to track different things like response time in terms of API and downtimes.”

Chigozie Madubuko is a senior software engineer at Kora, developing backend solutions with a track record of writing high-quality software that directly impacts the company’s bottom line. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Nnyene-ime Udofa

On the importance of keeping the necessary parties involved in building a product informed at every step.

“It’s essential to make sure that all parties involved in building a product are kept in the loop at all times, specifically, the compliance team, product designers, and engineers. This is to ensure that the product is regulatory compliant and delivers on the defined objectives of each feature.”

Nnyene-ime Udofa is a technology platform analyst and innovative product manager at MTN with a record of developing and managing successful enterprise web applications. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Oluwasegun Adeleye

On how to manage engineers being involved in all aspects of creating a product while ensuring that they still deliver on their own tasks.

“It all depends on expectation management and ensuring that you’re still working towards meeting the needs of the customers as well as the needs of the business.”

Oluwasegun Adeleye is the Chief Technology Officer at Kora and a software engineer with experience building robust web applications. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

The Twitter Space was moderated by David Ojimba, a front-end engineer at Kora. As an extension of Kora’s celebration of International Programmers’ Day, our engineers also documented their lives on our Instagram Stories. The stories are still up, and you can find them here.

At Kora, our mission is to connect Africa to the world and connect the world to Africa via payments. Visit to keep up with all we’re working on.