MTN, a pan-African telecommunications company, has announced the launch of what they have said will be Africa's "largest library of open APIs." Known as Chenosis, the API marketplace will allow software developers and businesses across Africa to discover and subscribe to what is expected to become the largest library of open APIs published on the continent.

The APIs that will be available on MTN's Chenosis will cover areas such as telecommunications, e-health, e-government, IoT, fintech, e-commerce, identity and authentication, payments and collections, location, and more.

β€œChenosis is a separate brand and entity, and will have an arms-length relationship with MTN so that it remains open to all mobile network operators, fintech start-ups, payment service providers, mobile wallet operators, financial service providers, and more,” said Charles Molapisi, MTN Group Chief Technology and Information Officer.

MTN's API Marketplace - Chenosis.

The importance of APIs

In simple terms, an API (Application Programming Interface) allows different software to behave as if they are all interconnected. This is often used by big corporations for internal purposes or to allow their external partners and customers to interact with their systems.

As you can probably guess, there are many examples of where APIs can be used in a business. More importantly, however, is that they can improve efficiency by avoiding duplication of systems or even data sets, allowing each organization to focus on the core of its business.

There's also an API monetization opportunity as MTN also highlight.

Chenosis - MTN's pan-African API marketplace

According to MTN, their Chenosis Marketplace will allow businesses and software developers to publish their APIs so that other developers can discover and use them. Also important is that the pan-African API marketplace will provide tools for API publishers to monetize and promote their APIs, by creating subscription plans and product bundles that developers and businesses can purchase.

β€œWe have exciting pan-African and international partnerships lined up to publish and monetize their APIs in the marketplace over the coming months. These partnerships will enable Chenosis to become the largest and most diverse developer ecosystem on the African continent,” said Molapisi.

The Chenosis Marketplace portal will have dashboards for publishers and consumers to track revenue and credit balances, view consumption analytics and API performance. MTN has also highlighted that one of the value-added benefits of the API platform will be in the creation of mashup APIs which will connect cross-industry APIs and facilitate innovation and the ability to build new services and new business models.

"Mashups are new product and service orchestrations created by developers from two or more existing APIs."

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