Sociology student taking on Google, Youtube
By Nsikan Ikpe
In a clime where the average thinking is that every good thing comes from abroad, Gabriel Opare, a young 19-year-old Ghanaian student of Sociology has built a search engine to rival Youtube and Google
The new search engine, Mudclo, was built by the student of the University of Ghana, who had taught himself how to code by taking online courses during his free time.
Lately, the e-commerce buzz has been on the upward swing and most notably among the young people of Africa. Only last year, e-commerce geek and Google founder, Mark Zuckerberg was in Africa to personally see for himself some of the new trends that had recently been coming out from the continent. This week, it is the turn of the Chinese, with Alibaba.com founder, Jack Ma leading a team to Kenya and Rwanda.
And coming back to West Africa, Mudclo is a free search engine for videos. Mudclo discovers and streams videos from the different locations on the internet all in one place.
Some commentators are already describing the new addition as a most impressive metasearch engine that collates results from many sources across the web. It is an online service that allows search and streaming of video content from multiple sources in one place.
According to them, there is no doubt that it is Opare’s deep appreciation for technology that has made him take such an active interest in web and graphic design which has led to his recording such outstanding results. For example, Mudclo is among few video search engines in the world that do not serve as video hosting sites. And even when it is clear that this new startup will face fierce competition from global stream-disabled engines but what is important is that Mudclo is an awesome innovation of a teenager which showcases the inventiveness of the African continent; the newest Silicon Valley of the world. Clearly, Mudclo would be counted among the most promising video search engines startups in Africa and in the world.
“I believe that my business is good enough and that it can scale globally. It is a legitimate point to say that YouTube is a video hosting website, but they are two different entities.
“While YouTube is a video hosting website, Mudclo combines the power of YouTube and two other video hosting websites in order to create Mudclo,” he said.
Mudclo’s users most popular searches include adverts, music videos and amateur content.
According to Opare, his initial inspiration came from other Ghanaians, restless and eager to build businesses at a young age on a continent where opportunities are limited and unemployment is rife.
Mudclo has already caught the attention of some of the world’s big tech companies, including more established video hosting sites although there is some work to be done on Mudclo to fix bugs, boost the features and visual experiences it offers users.
“With all entrepreneurs, they feel that there is a rewarding or gratifying feeling that comes with creating a product or a service that will actually matter to the world,” the teenager added.
Experts say information and communication technology could help Africa overcome infrastructure inadequacies, satisfy rising consumer demand, boost regional trade and diversify economies, ending reliance on raw materials.