- Title: Ghanaian teenager built a video search engine to rival Google.
- Date: 11th July 2017
- Summary: OPARE IN THE LIBRARY READING AND CODING
- Embargoed: 25th July 2017 16:33
- Keywords: Mudclo Gabriel Opare videos search engine You Tube App developer Internet
- Location: ACCRA, GHANA
- City: ACCRA, GHANA
- Country: Ghana
- Topics: Information Technologies / Computer Sciences,Science
- Reuters ID: LVA0066P9W3TJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Ghanaian university student Gabriel Opare wanted to build a search engine that could challenge the dominance of Google.
The 19-year-old taught himself how to code by taking online courses in his free time. He is currently a full-time student of Sociology at the University of Ghana, in Accra.
On his quest to rival Google - the world's most popular search engine, Opare developed Mudclo - a free search engine for videos. Mudclo discovers and streams videos from the different locations on the internet all in one place.
"A lot of people haven't really supported the idea that a 19-year-old can create a video search engine that will really matter in the world. I have met people who have told me that if there is a YouTube then why will ever need to use Mudclo. That is very discouraging but I believe that these are all criticisms that are very constructive. I believe that my business is good enough and that it can scale globally but that is not to say that I am closing my eyes to the faults of my business. It is a legitimate point to say that YouTube is a video hosting website - there are a lot of videos there, and Mudclo is also a... there are a lot of videos on Mudclo as well, 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.
Opare says it has been a learning process since he began in 2015.
He says 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.
"Well, first of all it's my time spent in senior high school. When I was in senior high school I was surrounded by, or I fell into the company of students who were very entrepreneurial in nature. It was very inspiring, considering the fact that most of them were under age but despite their utter lack of funding, many of them really strive to create business. I met students who created ushering organizations, clothing lines, fashion groups and I guess the idea really got on with me. But because I had a love for technology, I decided that I will tow the journey of entrepreneurship but whatever be the case, it must be technological in nature," said Opare.
Opare says Mudclo is only the beginning, he is also working on an advertising network and is building a talent pool around him so that he has the right team to take his dream forward.
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.
"I think that generically, there is a thing with all the entrepreneurs, they feel that there is a rewarding or a gratifying feeling that comes with creating a product or a service that will actually matter to the world, that will leave a dent in the universe. And so I just simply wanted to share in that feeling that most entrepreneurs have to be able to create a business and manage it on my own," Opare said.
One of Opare's hobbies is basketball. When he is not coding, he is often on the court with friends at the university.
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.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2017. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: Video restrictions: parts of this video may require additional clearances. Please see ‘Business Notes’ for more information.