Google NLP Hack Series: Intro to ASR Africa Challenge
Calling on the Zindi community to help create automatic speech recognition datasets for African languages
$3 000 USD
Ended 3 months ago
288 enrolled
Good for beginners
Automatic Speech Recognition

In this 2-month challenge, we invite participants to create a speech corpus in their language and train a speech recognition system on the data they collected.

Participants are encouraged to use the ASR data collection app from LIG-Aikuma, (see workshop resources below), which enables you to add text prompts on your phone and record them yourself or ask others to record them. Note: the LIG-Aikuma app only runs on Android, however it is not a requirement for this challenge and participants may use other collection methods (must be free and available to the public or created by yourself) or borrow an Android device to run the app.

Watch the workshop video here.



LIG-Aikuma: This is not needed for the workshop, but you’re welcome to download ahead of time if you want to reference it during the workshop.

  • Install the app from this APK file (easiest way is to download it on your phone)
  • We’ll cover instructions during the workshop and post more tutorial resources here after the workshop as well.

Update: Some are having issues with the Lig-Aikuma app crashing. The Lig-Aikuma app was suggested because it was open source and designed with ASR collection in mind, but you're welcome to use any speech recording app you'd like (even if it's not open source, as long as it's free and you're not paying for any of the features).

Here is another open source app, Simple Voice Recorder:

And here is a list of other speech recorder apps (you're not limited to this list, you can use anything that's free and publicly available). You may want to try a few out to see which you like best:

Tip - When figuring out which app you'd like to use, some things you might want to consider are: Do I need the app to work offline and if so, can it work offline? Where does it store the data (do you want to store it to phone or SD card, and then transfer to computer or online storage)?

More resources for LIG-Aikuma app:

  • Install the app from this APK file (easiest way is to download it on your phone)
  • (If you want to download the entire source code, please scroll to the very bottom of this link: to the section called “#2021 Update on LIG-Aikuma source code".
  • Newest instructions for Lig-Aikuma app as mentioned in workshop
  • Original tutorial (available in English, French, and video)

ELPIS Tutorial Video

Metadata Template

Links referenced in workshop presentation:

Low Resource ASR

Mozilla Common Voice


Elpis quick guide

Preparing the corpus

  • Python script for converting txt transcription files to Elan format (.eaf)

Using Elpis