App gives the inside scoop to Dakar’s nightlife

According to the Africa Tourism Report, the number of tourists arriving in sub-Saharan Africa has increased by over 300% since 1990. In 2012 alone, the region marked a high of 33.8m tourists, many of whom were intraregional travellers. With summer being just around the corner, many afropolitans are already mapping out the continent for their vacation plans.

During my last vacation on the continent, I often found myself abandoning my meticulously planned itinerary of common tourist attractions and drifting instead into the local scenes. While there is some appeal in the spontaneity of random discovery, I believe that there is a great advantage in having an inside scoop on local events and nightlife. Another young African who shares my view is Seynabou Deme, creator of Agendakar.

The app is a web platform that connects users to local nightlife, restaurants, exhibitions and other events in Dakar. Deme’s Agendakar is now the most popular event guide to Senegal’s capital. Her staff of four young Africans collect event dates, programme, code, and write articles about the city’s latest novelties. The app reduces costs associated with mobile web services by allowing users to download it for free and use it offline.

Africa’s tourism industry already employs 12.8m people and could create over 16m jobs by 2021. Africa specific innovations, like Agendakar, promote visibility to local businesses and could serve as a doorway into employment for young people. It comes as no surprise that this female-run startup is a must have for both serious local business owners and fun seekers alike.

This article was first published on the World Bank blog.