The 2015 Orange AMEA Developers Challenge was launched in August in France and 11 other countries in Africa and the Middle East: Botswana, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Guinea Conakry, Jordan, Kenya, Mali, Niger and Senegal.
The purpose of the challenge is to help stimulate innovation in Africa by offering start-ups the possibility of using Orange’s application programming interfaces (APIs) to enrich their applications with functionalities that are sometimes essential, such as billing.
The call for applications attracted 1,200 innovative projects on www.entrepreneurclub.orange.com. The proposed projects illustrated the potential of telecommunications for regional development in fields as varied as healthcare, agriculture, education and energy.
Initially, ten projects per country were chosen for the shortlist. Twelve finalist projects were then chosen by a selection panel composed of experts from Orange and from the Information Technologies and Communications industry.
The final ranking was as follows: FarmConnecta from Botswana has created a mobile marketplace dedicated to livestock trading. Users can access market data and locate lost cattle via a simple mobile telephone. FarmConnecta takes full advantage of the Texting and Billing APIs to revolutionize m-agri applications in Botswana and potentially everywhere in Africa.
Secondly, the Nilebot start-up from Egypt uses a hardware and software solution for real-time measurements of water quality in aquaculture. All the collected data is sent via text message in real time, helping aquaculture professionals to be more proactive and to improve their productivity.
Thirdly, the Cycle M start-up from the Democratic Republic of the Congo has developed a family planning system for mobiles (based on an application or through texting). It provides a tool that can be used to calculate a woman's menstrual cycle and identify important dates, in particular to avoid unwanted pregnancies and births.
This Challenge marks the acceleration of Orange’s Open Innovation initiative in Africa and the Middle East by opening up the Group’s technical platforms and providing support for local developer ecosystems through its Orange Partner (https://www.orangepartner.com) program. Orange offers access to the Texting API in Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Guinea, Niger and Senegal, and to the USSD and Billing APIs in Egypt.