Oju Africa has introduced the first 'Afro emoticons' in a bid to tackle the lack of ethnic diversity in emoticons. The Afro Emoticons are designed to be used on Android platforms; iOS versions are also on the way. The emoticons are powered by Mi-Fine, the first African mobile services brand. The word 'Oju' means 'faces' in the Nigerian Yoruba language, so 'Oju Africa' essentially means faces of Africa, which is what the Afro emoticons aim to represent.
Oju Africa has been working on the emoticons for a while, but decided to fast-track their release in response to the #EmojiEthnicityUpdate hashtag, which went viral after it was tweeted by Miley Cyrus and others who implored with big mobile services companies to introduce ethnically diverse emojis.
The CEO of Oju Africa, Alpesh Patel, says the Afro emoticons were borne out of "a dream of digitally uniting Africa, liberating Africans from digital exclusion."
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