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Which are Africa’s best new start-ups?

Which are Africa’s best new start-ups?

Some of Africa’s newest business success stores are gaming start-ups. Much of Africa’s economy is stable and the gaming culture on the continent is grow. Those factors, together with the support of a large number of Africa’s governments, makes Africa the perfect location for new gaming companies to thrive and grow.

The new African gaming start-ups span the spectrum of the gaming world from development and publishing to game design, marketing, influencing and competition. The Grande Vegas casino bonuses encourages these efforts with a look at some of the most innovative and creative African gaming start-ups.

They include:

Maliyo Games

Maliyo Games was started by two Nigerian entrepreneurs who want to combine the Nigerian experience with the new gaming culture of Africa. Maliyo Games focus incorporating African stories and narratives into its games through storylines, style, culture and graphics.

Co-founder Hugo Obi explains the company’s philosophy “Nigerian music and Nollywood movies have a strong appeal to the local and diasporan consumers. We are riding this trend and thus far we are seeing traction.” Maliyo, which was founded in 2012, has, to date, released multiple Nigerian-themed games including Okada Ride, Mosquito Smasher, Aboki and Kidnapped.

Panda Play Studios

Panda Play Studios specializes in casual, racing and puzzle games. The independent game development studio is based in South Africa. It creates audios and visuals that focus on minimalism while providing players with compelling and innovative gaming experiences.  Games published by Panda Play Studios are all in-house with all graphic design, coding, film editing and vfx and colour correction/grading being produced by the studio itself.

Kiro’o Games

Kiro’o Games derives its name from the Swahili concept of "kiroho maono" which refers to "spiritual vision". Kiro’o Games is aiming aims to bring something “new, innovative and exotic” to the gaming world by publishing African-themed games that are based on authentic cultural references.

The game design company, which was started by Guillaume Oliver in 2013, relies on storytelling and imagery to bring realistic African-themed games to the marketplace. Kiro’o’s first game, Aurion, is set in the Cameroonian tribal lands of Bamileke. The storyline follows the travels of a royal couple as they encounter local myths and meet tribal characters. Throughout the game percussive African music plays in the background.


Kuluya a cross-platform, mobile-first game development company that  focuses on the development of casual games  with African themes. The company is based out of Lagos, Nigeria. Their games are designed around the local stories and myths of Nigerian tribes with a goal of portraying the rich and varied cultures of Nigeria as well as of Kenya and South Africa.

Kuluya is hoping to take a leadership position in the effort to counter the negative portrayal of Africa as is often seen displayed in Western video games. CEO Olakunle  Ogungbamila believes that gaming can be used as an educational tool to educate people about the history, culture and potential of Africa.


Carry1st is a South African startup that is backed by Google, American rapper Nas and the silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horwitz. Carry1st aims to be the platform of choice for game studios who need the technology and expertise to publish and distribute their work throughout Africa, manage operations and receive payments through multiple channels.

Carry1st focuses on developing and publishing enriching mobile games and content apps for African consumers.  Their mobile game/trivia app, Carry1st Trivia, is a live trivia game that users can play all day. Carry1st has signed publishing deals for games from studios including CrazyLabs from Israel, Tilting Point which created Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob and Sweden’s Raketspel


The Afroes software developing company focuses on creating mobile tools and applications for education and branded messaging in the African market. The Kenyan-based company produced Haki in which the gamer follows a character that fights to mend wrongs in society. “Haki” means “justice” or “rights” in Swahili and the game promotes the pursuit of Haki.

According to founder Anne Githuku-Shongwe, computer games are a valuable tool to deliver positive messages and to inspire and empower young Africans. Afroes believes that it can use a B2B model to effect social change through games that focus on creating compelling and relative interactive content. Afroes games cover a wide range of social justice issues including abuse, gender inequality, conservation, environment and civil rights.

Kola Studios

Kola Studios’ social and cross-platform games are making their mark around the world. Kola Studios is located on Uganda. They are best-known for their Twendele friend-finder app but they are moving their focus into the gaming world.

Their most popular games include Karata, the digital version of a Kenyan card game and Zword, a hangman-like game where the player knifes a zombie every time s/he correctly selects a correct letter of a hidden word. Kola Studios is coming popular entertainment with educational relevance as it makes an impact on the gaming community in Africa and around the world.

Black Division

Black Division’s Kenya-centered games are reaching an international audience thanks to 3D Graphic animator Andrew Kaggia of Nairobi. Kaggia started Black Division as a way to meet the demand for local content and, using innovative rules and creativity, he is developing entire worlds from scratch that reflect authentic African landscape along with local music and Kenyan cultural markers.

One of the most popular Black Division games is Nairobi X, a multi-player, first-person shooter game that takes place against the backdrop of the majesty of the  African countryside. Kaggia is  passionate about showcasing native culture but he doesn’t shy away from politics – in the Wageuzi (Swahili for “transformers”) video he reminds viewers to vote by portraying a digital war amongst Kenya’s politicians as they battle for power.

Leti Games

Leti Games is one of the first gaming start-up in Ghana. The company plans to create a new generation of African superheroes which will then be featured in digital comics as well as in the games. Their first game, iWarrior, was released in 2009.

Since that launch they have published  a number of additional games, all of which feature African culture, folklore, myths and history as well as modern issues that affect Africa today. All Leti games are mobile-enabled and culturalized to specific African settings.


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