SASAI: The Potential that Never Came to Be
In 2016, Econet Wireless launched SASAI, a mobile app that promised to revolutionize the Zimbabwean and African technological industry. The app was designed to be a one-stop shop for all your digital needs, combining the features of popular apps like WeChat, WhatsApp, Facebook, PayPal, BlogSpot, Twitter, Netflix, and Thunder VPN.
SASAI had a lot of potential. It was exclusive to Econet users, which made payment modalities easier through the use of ECOCASH and Steward Bank. It also made it easier to verify and identify users, providing a safer environment for users.
The app offered a wide variety of features, including:
Entertainment: Live broadcasts, reality shows, movies, music videos, podcasts, gaming, and more.
Financial services: Payments, money transfers, bill payments, and more.
Business services: Networking, marketing, and customer service.
Health services: Information and advice on health and wellness.
Farmer services: Information and market access for farmers.
SASAI had the potential to be a major player in the African tech industry. However, the app faced a number of challenges, including:
Technical problems: The app was often unstable and crashed frequently.
Lack of user engagement: Many users found that SASAI was not as user-friendly as other apps, and they did not see the need to switch from their existing apps.
Competition from international apps: International apps like WhatsApp, Facebook, and YouTube were already well-established in Zimbabwe, and they had a large user base.
Despite these challenges, SASAI still had the potential to be a successful app. If Econet had addressed the technical problems and improved the user experience, SASAI could have become a popular choice for Zimbabweans who were looking for a one-stop shop for all their digital needs.
Unfortunately, Econet did not take the necessary steps to make SASAI a success. The app continued to have technical problems, and Econet did not listen to user feedback. As a result, SASAI failed to live up to its potential and is now largely forgotten.
The failure of SASAI is a missed opportunity for the Zimbabwean tech industry. The app had the potential to be a major player in the region, but it was let down by poor execution. It is a reminder that even the best ideas can fail if they are not properly implemented.
I hope that one day, someone will come along and revive SASAI. The app has the potential to be a valuable tool for Zimbabweans, and it would be a shame to see it go to waste.