Here’s an interesting project involving two of my favorite topics: language and AI.

Some estimates put the number of living languages on the continent at 2,000 or more. This can stand in the way of communication, as well as commerce, and earlier the year led to the creation of the Masakhane open source project, an effort being undertaken by African technologists to translate African languages using neural machine translation.

Masakhane works with groups like Translators Without Borders and academics to find language data sets.

In addition to translating native African languages to English, the project will seek to translate dialects like Pidgin English in Nigeria or strands of Arabic in northern and central Africa.

We tend to think of startups as primarily a North American or Asian phenomenon, but that leaves out a large chunk of the world. Remember: innovation happens everywhere and not just in Shenzhen or the Pacific Time Zone.

Here’s an insightful look from Deutsche Welle on the startup scene in Africa and why it’s on the verge of getting big.