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The capital and the largest city of Mali, Bamako is one of the fastest-growing cities in Africa and the 6th fastest in the world. Perched on the Niger River close to the rapids that divide the upper and the middle Niger valleys, it's the administrative hub of the country. The name "Bamako" comes from the Bambara word meaning "crocodile tail" but you won't find any in its bustling streets where over 2 million people get on with their daily lives, shopping in markets, balancing baskets on their heads and for the tech savvy youth, hanging out in coworking venues gaining support from a community of likeminded folk. The streets are choked with mopeds and motorcycles and people cook with charcoal on the side of the road. Locally manufactured goods include textiles, metal items and processed meat, whilst its river port sits in the nearby town of Koulikoro that is a major regional trade and conference center.

Mali actually has its own homegrown version of "Facebook" that unlike the original that focuses on written posts, video and conversation, the Mali version is using local languages and vocal abilities. Mali's people have very little formal education with one of the lowest literacy rates in Africa; hence the original Facebook is basically inaccessible. The Mali creator, Mamadou Gouro, has created the "Lenali" app that is purely an oral-based platform in an attempt to fill the social media void. Due to the fact that the literacy rates are not confined to Mali in Africa, Gouro believes that the app can gain traction across the African continent. He bootstrapped the project himself with the help of his family, as he believes that many of his people are excluded from social media because they can't read or write.

It's the incredibly creative minds such as Gouro that are creating a buzz in Mali's coworking venues where support can be found amidst a community of creative souls wishing to solve the problems of their own country.

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